I’m a homeschool dad. Not by design. I didn’t want to, but the experience all of my school-age kids were having was terrible. They were so focused on just surviving that there was no way they were learning.

Surviving what?

Incredible amounts of homework and in-class busy work. Often they would come home with 2-3 hours of additional work to do. The worst part is that they didn’t know how to do a lot of it. When COVID pushed all the kids to virtual, that got worse as the local school district picked out an online curriculum that was so bad, the kids would beg to go back to regular school. 

Being a tween. You’re constantly experiencing new things, and it doesn’t help when the environment doesn’t make it safe to explore. The amount of surveillance (it took everything short of a lawsuit to get school-sanctioned spyware off my laptops), the number of rules, and the lack of free time

No free time. From wake up until about 4 PM, school. Between 4 and 10 PM, 3 hours of homework, a meal, dance, theater, and sports. Most days, all three of my school-age kids were not ready for bed by 10–10:30 PM. Instead, they were done with work and ready to do what they wanted to do.

Sleep deprivation from staying up to play a video game, talk with friends, or whatever they needed to do for themselves.

So, after a month, how is it working?

Pretty well. The kids love it. They get up, log on, and do school. They have time for themselves and time to explore. It’s I’m still learning how to balance work, being Dad, and managing the school for the kids. I’m still trying to connect with other homeschool parents so I can learn more. But on the whole, this journey is off to a good start.