Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Do homeschoolers and telecommuters get a snow day?

I've been working pretty much as usual as the snow piles up outside; the commute to my home office is not changed by the weather. Many people are having this experience today -- a number of federal government workers, for instance, are working from home on contingency plans, though the fact that they can do this raises the question: why don't more workplaces have people work from home more often? Work that requires a lot of collaboration can still benefit from seeing people in the flesh, but a number of workplace studies have found that telecommuting, say, twice a week, has no effect on collegiality.

Back when I was in school, snow days were always a source of great joy -- you got them truly "off." After all, the buses couldn't take kids to school, and school is where schooling happened. But I'd venture to guess that a great many school children have home computers these days, and could get a lesson plan emailed to them from a teacher. Since if the schools are closed, a parent or other adult has to be home anyway, there would be adult guidance to help kids work through their lessons. In other words, they'd be doing a version of homeschooling for a day.

Of course, this then raised the question for me -- do homeschoolers take snow days? Not having to travel to school is one of the perks of learning at home, but still doing regular lessons would certainly change the connotation of those first weather announcements of an impending storm! I'm curious what the homeschooling parents reading this blog do.

8 comments:

Jeremy said...

We're pretty slack homelearners, I guess...regularly taking days off from the curricular stuff (regardless of the weather) to let the kids follow their noses, which usually means they read and draw most of the day. On a big snow day, they play outside, and maybe do some "schoolwork" when they come in.

The Princess Mom said...

This year, all the boys are taking classes outside the house, so we have to (get to) take a traditional snow day when school is out. But I've also been known to call a snow day on the day of the first snow that sticks to the ground. What better day to celebrate snow?

Jenny Kalfut said...

I homeschool and work from home, and it has been business as usual for us this week. The kids have worked on schoolwork and then headed out to play in the snow with the neighbors each day. I would much rather have an impromptu day off in May or June when it's too gorgeous to stay inside!

Lunch Club One and Two said...

Homeschool to many is not just school replicated at home. To a huge portion of home schoolers, learning takes place all the time and where you are.

For example, my daughter is in Australia right now traveling with other learners for seven weeks. The month of November she and several other homeschoolers lived in a boarding situation so that they could write non-stop day and night so they each could create a 50,000 page novel.

And while home she may work on school work weekends, evenings and holidays too. When she needs a break she takes one. We don't keep track of hours, only learning. And when you are following your passion learning is almost all the time!

Anonymous said...

If the snow is falling, the wind is blowing, and the roads impassable, then all our outside activities are canceled and we try to catch up (or get ahead) on academic work. But the next day, when the sun is shining and the weather warmer, the kids spend lots of time outside and then come in for hot chocolate and popcorn.

Anonymous said...

I'm a first-time homeschooling parent of a high school student. I couldn't go to work all week, so we talked more about school, but took it more slowly than usual. In between schoolwork sessions, we went out and shovelled/played in the snow. I found it FANTASTIC not to have to put in a full day in the office, fight the traffic, then come home and monitor homeschool.

Heather Laurie said...

We don't generally have snow days we have sun days... haha eat your heart out! The first warm, sparkling day of spring we are outside!

lgm said...

We use a public school. A snow day is not a day off from learning. Teachers keep track of the weather and assign enough homework and reading that my boys might as well have been in school. It's nice to have the transport time for our own though.