My kids are learning at home. That doesn’t mean I’m homeschooling.

I’m like many working parents during this coronavirus pandemic. I’m struggling to figure out how to work a full-time job from home and support my children’s learning. With all of us at home, I think I’m supposed to take on a new role. But I’m not sure what that is.

One thing I do know: I won’t call myself a “homeschooling mom,” even if other parents are embracing that title.

That’s partly because I’ve been given a lot of labels over the years that I don’t want to claim. Labels like “ADHD mom.”

It’s also because I have a number of friends who have chosen to homeschool over the years. I’m not doing the same thoughtful, planned work they do.

There’s another really important reason I won’t call myself a homeschooling mom. As a former teacher, I know all the work that goes into teaching — and I’m not doing any of it right now.

I’m not learning new ways of presenting information and trying to make it so all students can access it. I’m not trying to sort out what special education looks like when school isn’t “normal” anymore.

What I’m doing right now is just hanging on. I’m overwhelmed, stressed out, and feeling like I’m not good enough. So I’m adjusting my parenting priorities.

Getting through schoolwork is only a piece of it. I’m also sorting through numerous emails from the school about general education and special education. I’m figuring out how to be available to make sure my son can be on video to have teletherapy with his related service providers.

I’m struggling with my own anxiety while trying to help my 10-year-old manage his anxiety, too. And I’m watching his older brother grieve the loss of his senior year in high school and miss his hard-won friendships.

With every day, my role is becoming clearer. I’m a parent, raising kids who learn and think differently in a very difficult time. Some days, it’s almost more than I can handle. Yes, I’m a trained teacher, and I could take that on, too. But I’m not my kids’ teacher, and I’m not a homeschooling mom.

About the author

About the author

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 


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