The pandemic has revealed so much of the flaws in our systems that most of us probably didn’t know were there. Like for example, How much of school is babysitting?
When distance learning started to happen around the world, I saw something beautiful happen. My homeschooling friends rose to the occasion, reassuring and comforting panicking parents with no idea where to start or what to do or expect. The homeschoolers shared their tips, tricks and secrets, and the most interesting to me is how little time it actually takes to do the academic work every day. It’s a lot less than you think. Depending on ages and systems, the homeschoolers I saw sharing their expertise said anywhere between 3-4 hours per day. Not five, six or seven hours plus homework. First of all I think we are stressing out our kids with too much work. Too many activities and things for them to do, including homework. We forget to let them be kids. I don’t know what kind of internal anxiety this comes from, but most parents today are doing that.
My kids school days when they are in class is six or seven hours long. And I get that in person school also gives them time to socialize, be around kids, play and have lunch and so on, but it’s a lot more time than they need to do their academic work. I get that a lot of parents have to work and need a safe and stimulating place for their kids when they are not at home. When are we going to talk about how much of school time is babysitting and how we could use that time much more efficiently to let the kids do things they want to like sports, crafts, art, music and so on, or just play outside. Treeclimbing club.
The more I think about it the more I think that we are pushing our kids way too hard, often to the point where they have no energy left to be active and creative. When a six or seven year old comes home from school at five, exhausted and just needs down time, there is no room to explore. Same for a ten year old. And a teenager who then has hours of work to do after dinner. When you think about it it’s really insanity.