I’m sad. The denial and bargaining has worn off, and the grief has set in. This pandemic quarantine is depressing.

People are losing jobs. Businesses are struggling. People are isolated in nursing homes. People are dying. Healthcare workers are running out of supplies.

Everything is canceled because of coronavirus. Dance recitals, trips, soccer games, BBQs, concerts, birthday parties, meetings, and, last but certainly not least, school.

Chances are good our kids will not go back to school this semester.

Chances are good our kids will be home with us from now through the summer.

Chances are good our kids will be homeschooling for the next two-and-a-half months.

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I love our elementary school. My kids have great teachers who care deeply about them, and the feeling is mutual. I spend a lot of time at their school. I serve on the PTA board. Many of the staff members are my friends.

And yet, I’m finding that, despite my general disappointment, I’m not sad about having to homeschool my kids. In fact, I think it might be exactly what our family needs right now.

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In the first week of my girls being home during quarantine, I found out that my 8-year-old daughter is helpful, has a good attitude, and does not have meltdowns in the evenings when she’s not exhausted from being at school all day.

I also found out—or confirmed, really—that my 6-year-old is going to be a teacher like both of her grandmothers and her great-grandmother. She created her own homeschool box for us and relishes every opportunity to use her teacher’s pointer from our school’s book fair. She begged me to start homeschooling them while we were still on spring break.

I’m a work-from-home mom, and my husband is working from home during the quarantine. I’m trying to create a routine for our days that is somewhat structured but also flexible.

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We are easing into homeschool. We play outside unless it’s cold and raining, we do a virtual tour of a zoo or museum, we do an art project, and we read books together every day.

I am playing with my kids more now and learning new things alongside them.

I am more involved in what they’re learning and what they’re interested in researching or exploring next.

We’re cooking together, we’re cleaning house together, we’re playing board games together, we’re watching movies together, we’re doing yard work together.

Sure, I’ll throw in the school’s provided math app, a few easy science experiments, cursive handwriting worksheets for the second-grader, and some sight words practice for the kindergartener.

But I’m holding the idea of a set curriculum or formal lesson plans very loosely and focusing on spending quality time with my children instead. I’m incredibly grateful for this extra, albeit, forced upon us, time with them.

I know they are missing their teachers and friends, as am I, but they don’t seem to be very disappointed in the extra time at home either.

And none of us are overtired from running back and forth from school to all of those canceled events.

Maybe homeschool is exactly what we need right now.

Lauren Flake

Lauren Flake is a wife, mom to two girls, watercolor artist, seventh generation Texan, and early onset Alzheimer's daughter. She is the author and co-illustrator of two award-winning children's books for grieving preschoolers, Where Did My Sweet Grandma Go? and Where Did My Sweet Grandpa Go?, and the editor of Love of Dixie magazine. She loves green tea, dark chocolate, and collecting all things turquoise.