How do you homeschool kids? The pandemic has lots of parents asking

April 22, 2020
Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher in a classroom.

Like millions of parents across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has left Penn GSE’s Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher at home with her family, juggling parenting, teaching her kids, and co-leading the International Educational Development master’s program.

In the debut episode of her The Parent Scoop podcast — which brings education research and knowledge to parents, from parents — Ghaffar-Kucher wanted to understand what kids need right now, and what parents can do. 

Podcast album art created by Ghaffar-Kucher's daughter Laila Kucher.

“There are countless memes of parents’ successes and joys of homeschooling, but more often frustrations,” Ghaffar-Kucher said. “But the question is, is what we’re doing really homeschooling?”

To help think through the question, Ghaffar-Kucher spoke with Chris Steinmeier, Ed.D., co-founder and co-director of the Natural Creativity Center. They talked about how parents can help their kids learn from home, and fears about missed class time.

“There are things that you can do and learn right now that will have a dramatic, long-lasting impact on your family and your young one, particularly being present and being there with them as you as a family go through this event together, recognizing this is not normal,” Steinmeier said.

“There are going to be conflicts, there are going to be psychological disruptions, there are going to be things that really affect the ways that we are together. Young people are looking at you, as parents, at how you can respond in these situations … Those are opportunities for real deep learning I wouldn’t want people to miss out on.”

While many things are uncertain now, both Steinmeier and Ghaffar-Kucher agreed families can find ways to make use of this time.

“There is also a lot of possibility for joy, and despite all the craziness around us, we can focus on that as well,” Ghaffar-Kucher said. “Because that will help us come out of this stronger.”

Find this episode of The Parent Scoop and more here.