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This week has been week 1 of homeschooling for many families across the US and internationally. At first, here in San Francisco, we thought it would be a 3 week lockdown. Now, state governments are saying that schools probably won’t reopen before Fall. Public health experts warn us to expect waves of disruption over 12-18 months until an effective vaccine is developed.
Homeschooling is the new reality for many families. More likely than not, you or someone you know is an involuntary homeschooler right now.
For some working parents this week has involved juggling the kids with a partner, and having them make cameos in your Zoom calls. It’s likely involved some fights and tears, moments of incredulity at the state of the world, and maybe some small silver linings. My 16 month old is thriving with us both at home. He might miss the swings at the playground, but loves getting to see both of his parents throughout the day. For others, the situation is grim, filled with uncertainties and tradeoffs around health, risk, income, and being there for your kids.
Regardless of your situation, we at Outschool want to help. We feel a responsibility and have the expertise to do so. Since 2015, we’ve served and learned from more than 50,000 secular homeschoolers and families interested in alternative education. Last week another 20,000 families turned to our live online classes for a convenient, social and safe way to occupy and educate their kids. We provided financial assistance to many through outschool.org.
Now we’re launching a new product -- The Daily Outschooler -- to share the knowledge of our homeschooling community with parents new to homeschooling. We know your time is precious right now, so we're going to distill this knowledge down into a 4-minute daily newsletter. We hope this will help you support your kids' education at home, while staying happy and healthy, yourself.
With this new product we will connect involuntary homeschoolers with the expertise of our existing community. By bringing others into our community we hope to both help with the current crisis and spur innovation to create a better, modern education system. The world is different today and there has been terrible change. There are also opportunities for progress. We’re keeping an open mind and our spirits up. Let’s start learning about our new reality together.