homeschool · slice of life

Making It Work

Earlier today, I received a comment from Shaista on yesterday’s slice of life story:


Managing is the answer. It isn’t easy, but somehow, we’ve completed 734 of the 900 hours required by Pennsylvania Homeschool Law — and I still like my kids! (I think we’re due for a vacation SOON!)

Some days are easier than others. Some days we accomplish more than others. Some days everyone completes their assignments with a happy heart. Some days I think I could keep homeschooling.


This is not a long-term, sustainable thing. As a literacy consultant, I look forward to getting back into schools and presenting at conferences. (While I have set aside the afternoons as my work time, homeschool things are always popping up. I’m not accomplishing anywhere near what I would be if my kids were in school.) As an educator, I want my kids to be back in school for greater socialization opportunities. As a mom, I know I don’t want to teach two grades simultaneously. While I know some homeschoolers use computer programs to help manage multiple grade levels, this isn’t something I’ve tried. I teach my children the way I taught when I was in the classroom. There is some tech time, but it’s a tiny part of the day.

Click here for a peek into math time this morning!

It isn’t easy to teach about compound units (e.g., kilograms and grams) to a fifth-grader while trying to keep my preschooler (who is now into a Kindergarten math book since we zoomed through the PreK curriculum) engaged with his work. But somehow, we do it. Day after day after day.

Finally, I write whenever I can squeeze in some time. For instance, Isabelle is engaged in an activity now, so I’m sitting in a reading room with my laptop. Once this post is done, it’s my hope to get some writing done. However, the door is open to the hallway so that plan might get thwarted. But that’s okay. A little socialization never hurt anyone!

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.


18 thoughts on “Making It Work

    1. Sometimes I think I’m too rigid, doing too much, or making it feel too much like school-school. (We just started a historical fiction unit and she finished writing a literary essay today.) I’ve had several homeschoolers tell me that I should’ve unschooled this year. However, knowing that she’s going back next year pushed me to keep her moving forward.

  1. I think that when all four of you look back on this time in your life, you will be grateful. Your work will be there, and your kids will have powerful memories of learning with you and each other. And I know it’s really, really hard.

    1. The goal has been moved back several times, but it finally feels like the end of this is in sight (i.e., they’re going back to school, in-person, in August). Now, it feels oddly strange. While I’m looking forward to it, there’s a part of me that wonders what it’ll be like not to have a constant buzz in the house. (Let’s be honest, I’ll get more writing done… if my muse comes back!) I know that this time will always be looked back upon as a rough patch, but being with them day in and day out has also been quite lovely.

  2. Blue yellow orange green and…brown. Appreciate the juggling that comes through in this post. My hat is way way off to you. We’ve been in DL for almost a year now and while it’s not homeschooling, that feeling of managing learning for your own kids is next level. Keep going! 🙂

    1. I think a lot of people are learning how to manage their kids’ learning for the first time. It isn’t just homework anymore when there are forced class quarantines and building closures. It’s a new world, isn’t it?

  3. Your kids are so lucky, Stacey. This time will be memorable to all of you ten and twenty years from now. I do not know how you manage to do everything! You are a dynamo! I know you miss consulting, coaching, and presenting at conferences. Hopefully, things will be more normal next fall. Meanwhile,
    let’s plan some outings – meet at Elmwood Zoo or Philadelphia Zoo over spring break. Maybe Hershey Park!

    1. Let’s try to shoot for the zoo after Passover so we can easily go out to eat. 🙂
      As for HersheyPark, the kids want to go as soon as opening weekend for Springtime in the Park! (We’ll see if it’s warm enough!) So, you let me know when it works for you. 🙂

  4. This is so amazing! Like everyone else has been saying, the memories of these times will be some of their most precious ever! Some of my most precious memories are of my dad teaching me trigonometry and balancing equations because I missed school for two weeks.
    I’ve been thinking of giving homeschooling a shot too for a year or so, just never had the courage. This post gives me some courage now!

    1. I only did it because of the ongoing Covid concerns. I don’t think I ever would’ve taken the plunge if it hadn’t been for the pandemic. I’m glad I did it this year!

  5. Sounds like you definitely need a vacation soon! I watched my sister manage 3 different grade levels as the kids did school virtually earlier this year and it was not an easy feat – and she was just managing, not even teaching. I’m impressed that you’re doing this and I’m even more impressed that everyone still likes each other!

    1. I often say that I need to go for a retreat at the Highlights Foundation. I’ve said it so much that my son told our sitter that “Mommy says she wants to go to the woods.” 🤣

  6. I love this post for multiple reasons but mostly because it’s in direct response to someone’s commenting on your journey and you using that as inspiration to see it reflectively. It’s very much you, but prefaced through the guise of someone else’s eyes on your writing about homeschooling over the year. It includes every angle of how you do it, why you do it, what is done. It’s just really smart, and if I or anyone else was homeschooling or considering doing that this is very honest and inspirational. Having done a year and a half home with my boys in the pandemic (both back in regular school this year now) I BOW DOWN TO YOU!

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