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Is it School-at-home or Homeschooling?

school-at-home young boy head in hands, open laptop

After 3 months of school-at-home, it is still unclear whether schools are going to reopen or continue with remote learning in September. There have even been rumors of the school year restarting in July. 

Some parents and kids can’t wait to get back to “normal” school. Others might be questioning the wisdom of the former status quo. Some might even be wondering about continuing remote learning. 

I don’t call what has been going on during stay-at-home “homeschooling.” This remote learning experiment is unquestionably school-at-home. What does this mean?


is basically an attempt to replicate the public school routine, curriculum, and results but do it at home. This means a set curriculum, textbooks, worksheets, tests, corrections, and even teachers coming into your home on zoom. It is actually more time consuming than what happens in the stix and brix schools because the teacher cannot easily move from one student to the next and get an overview of how effectively they are learning. Parents are not in charge of the school day, so they must be at the mercy of their children’s online class schedule, in order to help them with their school work.

Homeschooling has a much broader scope.

young boy walking on rocks on beach

There are numerous ways to homeschool and thousands of curriculum choices. Parents can tailor the school day to their family’s needs and schedule. The curriculum can cover multiple grades and learning styles. Even daily routines can be incorporated into the curriculum. Older children can help the younger ones and all the children in the family can participate in learning projects and field trips. Standardized testing may or may not be required by your state. Unit testing is not necessary as parents can evaluate whether a subject has been sufficiently mastered on an individual basis.

Shameless Plug:

working parent's guide to homeschooling, 2nd edition

So you’re interested in homeschooling, but you have to go back to work. Yes, you can work and homeschool! In my book, The Working Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling, I share my own story as well as those of numerous other working parents who have made homeschooling work for their families. Check it out on Amazon or for lots of ideas for scheduling, child care, and resources.

Back to our topic.

School-at-home has compelling possibilities. Remote learning can free up funds to hire more teachers to handle smaller classes online. Online resources can replace textbooks and other classroom and lab supplies, freeing up yet more funds for teachers. School buildings and campuses can be repurposed for weekly labs, testing, and small group sessions as well as community meetings and even co-working spaces. Child care can also be provided as necessary for the community.

I don’t have the answers to our current public school situation. We know it’s broken, compounded by the current situation and the random violence that was already happening at schools. But I do think that this is a fantastic opportunity to start making some fixes and bring our educational system into the 21st century. In the meantime, homeschoolers can do just that for their own children. Come along and join us!

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