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This is How Local Parents Handle the Homeschool Challenge

This is How Local Parents Handle the Homeschool Challenge

New York parenting influencers and bloggers share how they are staying sane while homeschooling their children during quarantine.

For many of us, homeschooling has become an unexpected challenge during this unprecedented time. It may be one of our toughest assignments yet as parents—navigating online and often confusing classwork, interpreting teacher comments, trying to force a restless kid to sit long enough in his chair to watch one more learning video. Plus, many of us are trying to balance working from home with this new responsibility of homeschooling. How do we stay sane while facing homeschooling challenges? We asked a few of our favorite New York parenting influencers how they’re managing the homeschooling challenges brought forth by COVID-19. Here is what they told us. 

“My one trick for staying sane while my kids homeschool is definitely staying organized. There is an obscene amount of books, folders, and printable material we are dealing with on a daily basis and it can get overwhelming. Knowing organization is key, we file every piece of paper in its proper folder immediately after each use. It makes it so much easier to find your science handouts when they are actually in the science folder!”
—Geanine Cilenti-Petraglia, @geaninecilenti, Bronx

“My trick for keeping my sanity is exercise. You will now find a stationary bike placed in the middle of our in our living room—while taking up valuable space (and looking quite unsightly) it is the only thing that is keeping my sanity!
—Beth Beckman, @littlekidnyc, Manhattan 

“I’m continuing what my son’s teacher does in class by having a “Super Star Jar.” Each day, if they behave and do their schoolwork, their names goes in the jar. On Sunday night (after dinner so I can squeeze out a little more decorum) I pick a name. The winner gets to pick anything they want that’s less than $10 from Amazon. Then the name goes in a second Super Super Star Jar. Once this is all over, I’ll pick a name from that jar, and the winner gets to pick whatever they want for $25.”
Stacey Gish Wallenstein, @themintchipmama, Long Island


“We are doing daily ‘yoga freeze dance’ breaks to ‘shake our sillies out.’ Everyone needs it, mommy included.” 
—Heidi Kristoffer, @heidikristoffer, Manhattan

“I plan the night before and make sure I understand the lessons and have all materials ready. It also helps to have a clean space for the kids to do their work. I homeschooled my kids for 3 years while we traveled, and this is a tactic that I brought back into our lives. Also...if things aren't working out, change it up or take a break. And after all the work is done, take a moment for yourself. Whether that means eating ice cream alone or drinking a glass of scotch, have a moment of alone time.”
Jason Greene, @thejasongreene, Manhattan

“The one thing that is keeping me sane during this crazy time is waking up before my children and getting in a quick workout of yoga or hoping on my new mini elliptical I just purchased, having a cup of coffee in silence, and then I’m ready for the day!” 
Brianne Manz, @strollerinthecity, Manhattan

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Shana Liebman


Shana Liebman is the features editor of NYMP. She’s a writer and editor who has worked for magazines including New York MagazineSalon, and Travel & Leisure—and she is the mom of two energetic little boys.

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