In Today's Times: Are You Sending Your Kids Off to School for Their Benefit - or Yours?

December 07, 2020

#musesofamom #editorial

This has been the YEAR of COVID, hasn't it? We have had to make adjustments in so many aspects of our lives: home, work, school, events, shopping, and gatherings. Some of us have had to work from home or make tremendous changes in the workplace. Gatherings have, for the most part, been forbidden. Sports arenas stood empty for months. School and colleges dismissed for Spring Break, not knowing that students would not return.   

We have adapted to new ways of living, and technology has been more critical than ever before.  

Teachers have definitely shown their resilience. Already doing more than is expected, this Spring Break, their time was spent quickly adapting technology to transition their classrooms entirely online. 

When schools resumed after an extended Spring Break, I read many posts on social media from moms who despaired over doing school at home. Moms with younger children complained that they couldn't get their child to sit still, or they expressed disbelief of the many worksheets kids needed to complete. Parents were asking for help to teach the new-new math. There was definitely a new appreciation for teachers. 

To be fair, when COVID began, it was a stressful time. Some moms were juggling working from home and schooling, and many moms were still required to work away from home and figure out how to get instruction completed.

But disheartening were the videos on social media where stay-at-home moms grumbled not only about having to school at home but that they couldn't handle all the time they had to spend with their kids.

Um, what? Then what is being a mom all about?  What is our roles as moms if not for parenting and enjoying our children? 

Watching these videos made me wonder if moms saw school merely as childcare in exchange for their own independence. It's almost as if it is expected that the classroom teachers make up the extra parenting eight hours every day.

It cannot be a positive message to kids if they hear their parents tell others how they would rather send them off to school.

Are moms sending their kids off to school for their benefit, or the moms? 

Again, to be fair, in many households where both parents must work, this is the necessary solution. But others saw COVID as an opportunity to explore new educational options for their kids. With in-person school resuming, requests could be made to still learn at home. Online schools filled up quickly as many families enrolled in programs to completely transition their kids away from in-person school. They saw the hidden blessing with COVID: schooling at home was beneficial. It could be the opportune time to remove their child from a toxic social atmosphere or the philosophies taught in public schools in addition to keeping them healthy.

This is not a slight against the public school system. This is the chosen, preferred, or necessary option for many parents.

But to the stay-at-home moms who couldn't wait to send their kids back to school, wouldn't now be the time to also evaluate if the current form of education is really right for their children? Is sending them off to school the best option?  Would doing school at home be a better choice for a short time? And most importantly, what other investments are being made in their kids' education if they aren't learning from home?

Or are kids being sent the message that mom (or dad) has better things to do than to spend time with them?

While there were fun videos about surviving schooling and kids at home, I was disappointed at the moms who voiced that spending time with their kids a chore. After school ended for summer, they asserted that they could never, ever homeschool.

Okay, let's first define homeschool.

What happened after Spring Break was NOT homeschool. This was implementing school at home. It was roughly the same format, same schedule, same curriculum, same philosophies, just doing it in front of a screen—no choice in the order of learning.

Again, not homeschool. 


Homeschool is different. Homeschool is freedom in education for the entire family. It is a choice in format, schedule, curriculum, and philosophy. It can be at home, in a co-op, or in front of a screen. Siblings can learn together but at different levels. Anything can be a learning opportunity. There is no need to even be at home to homeschool.  

I was one of those moms who said she would never, ever homeschool.  But once we took the time to re-evaluate our two sons' education, we knew that homeschooling was the better option. We also saw that we needed to be more vested in our teen son, to steer him in a different direction.  

There are many resources to help with homeschooling – an abundance compared to when I started in 2013.  It is a humbling experience to homeschool, but the rewards are extraordinary. The relationship I have with both of my boys is something that I would not trade for the world. I modeled to them that I had nothing more important to do than to spend time with them. (And I still got some independent time anyway!)

It can be a scary decision, but I think parents need to learn more about the homeschooling option before they state that they couldn't homeschool.

We're parents. We got a few years on our kids. We do have the ability to homeschool.  I think it's that some parents just won't homeschool.

Maybe some of the online videos are actually truthful: some parents really prefer their kids in school, so they don't have to spend more time with them?  

Or is it that we don’t want one more parenting responsibility?

So my question remains: "Are you sending your kids off to school for their benefit? Or yours? 


  1. I wasn't fortunate enough to have kids. But if I had kids, I don't know if I would have been able to homeschool them and I also don't know if I would have wanted to do anything but homeschool them. I don't read like "normal" people so I don't think that I could have taught anyone how to read. Then there's the math... But we would have had fun creative writing and art lessons. My kids would have come out of the experience a bit skewed. But we would have been happy in the process...

  2. I am so glad I made the decision to homeschool my son! I understand the stress that moms sometimes feel, and I know there are times when it must feel like they can't catch a break. But it saddens me that moms would complain about their kids to others when they knew their children could hear it.

  3. If my children were little, I would definitely have chosen a true homeschool option like K12, which I used for my daughters. They know how to support homeschool families rather than the patchwork we see in schooling at home with the usual school and teachers, even though many teachers have been amazing... you raise important questions here! Hopefully some people are listening.

  4. I think I read some of the same FB posts as you about parents "complaining" that the kids would be home all day. My children and grandchildren are well beyond school age but we have great grands in school. Their moms are making things work the best they can. Lia is only 2 but her mom is leaning towards homeschooling so she can excel in her academics. We are basically already homeschooling her and she loves learning.


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