It’s a Stressful Year to Homeschool

  • Update: This was written during the Pandemic, during a shared, worldwide crisis. The encouragement here will continue to apply at any time when something unexpected happens in your life. Take care of your crisis. Your kids will be ok.

It’s 2020, and school has started. After six months of the pandemic, we now have terrible fires and intense smoke to worry about too – we hope you are safe! It’s impacting just about everyone in one way or another, and it may affect your homeschooling.

Homeschooling can be fun. Children often love it, but that might not be happening now. It’s not your fault. It’s not the curriculum. And maybe you and your children don’t know what it is. Our new normal is that our secure world is upside down and from one moment or day to the next, we may be out of sorts, stressed, or just not right.

Thankfully, you are homeschooling, so you can change your plans as needed, and give everyone the space they need to cope with whatever is happening, for as long as it takes. It’s compassionate and self-healing at a time when we need it. The kids who are enrolled in public school have to continue as if nothing is wrong because the teachers are required to keep up with State Standards and regular assignments. Maybe that’s not what is needed. Maybe baking bread or pizza is what is needed. Maybe reading aloud is needed. Or watching documentaries with popcorn. Or maybe talking about worries.

Help your kids through this in whatever way they need. If they are missing friends, perhaps there’s a way to connect online. If you see your children are stressed, don’t force schooling to continue as if nothing is wrong. At the end of the year, they won’t be behind. And more importantly, someday they’ll look back at this year and remember that you supported them, and it was the security they needed.


Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.