Homeschooling     Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids     K-12     Education Guide    

Distance learning blues…and laughs



A mom shares her story of raising 4 kids during this trying time

A mom shares her story of raising 4 kids during this trying time


Sometimes it takes a mom with a sense of humor in the thick of pandemic co-parenting, writing as if from a foxhole, with not one, not two, but four kids (including infant twin daughters!) to realize we’re not only in good company in this ongoing crisis, but we can actually use this crazy time for helpful perspective.

Popsugar writer Anne Fitzgerald provides a wonderful perspective. She is dealing with pandemic co-parenting, while her husband has been taking medication to treat Chronic Myeloid Leukemia for eight years. 

For anyone not dealing with that kind of load this becomes a reality check.

READ MORE: Homeschooling

Clearly, despite a chronic, if treatable, health issue, this family of six is able to swing the combo of remote learning and work-from-home, although their situation is not without intensity and, of course, drama. She does not give a list of how fellow parents could copy her to help get through the inevitable bumps and potholes in the road, but we can glean some helpful hints.

For starters, Fitzgerald makes a point to be the first up in the morning, which allows her some quiet time (to pump breast milk for the twins and “some light reading of the news,” although that last bit doesn’t sound relaxing at all).

She and her husband compromise a bit, but frankly, that’s refreshing. They allow their two eldest – their sons – to wear pajama pants during Zoom lessons if they pinky promise not to stand up. Fitzgerald also freely admits to bribing her youngest. “I bribe him with every Paw Patrol toy, ice cream sandwich, and future adventure I can dream up,” she unapologetically says. But apparently just changing her tone of voice works best, although she attributes increased voice usage to a sore throat which makes her wake up every morning thinking she’s seriously ill.

READ MORE: Get physical while remote learning

“Many mornings,” she says, “I wake up with a sore throat and wonder if I have COVID-19 until I remember that I barely leave the house, and I spend most of my day barking out orders, answering questions, and spelling out entire journal entries letter by letter. So it's no wonder my voice is strained. My voice can now mutate at the drop of a dime, as I can be speaking in sweet-toned baby talk one minute and the next be dragging my son back to his virtual desk while chanting the days-of-the-week song.”

Ultimately, Fitzgerald and her husband are models of forbearance, and inspiring to any parent messily managing, but nevertheless managing, this unprecedented time. Extra special props go to teachers, who Fitzgerald now sees, with more clarity than ever, are deserving of the deepest respect.



More Homeschooling


  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 Fun, Easy Ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • 6 tips to mitigate mental health risks for youth

    The surgeon general highlight the urgent need to address Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem. read more »
  • How to prevent cyberbullying with technology

    Who is at risk and what you can do

    Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent among children and teens, as young people now spend more time on phones, computers and digital devices. About 6 in 10 teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to Pew Research Center. read more »
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program

    Adventure Awaits Students Ages 6-9

    The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program for children ages 6-9 has quickly become one of the Nature Museum’s most beloved programs. Originally created out of the needs of families undertaking distance/learning, the program has proved so popular it has remained in place by demand. read more »
  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need exercise too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • World's No. 1 STEAM Program Launches New STEM/STEAM Book Series

    New Challenge Island chapter book series with a spectacular, hands-on STEM/STEAM twist!

    Challenge Island has been providing kids with award-winning STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning adventures for almost two decades. On National Stem Day (Nov. 8), the magic of the world's No. 1 STEAM program will combine with the magic of reading to launch the first book in the Challenge Island STEAM book series. read more »
  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • The Mama Bear Effect Launches New Resource to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

    Parents of young children and those with special education needs now have a free tool to educate children about their bodies and boundaries

    Parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists now have a new tool to educate the most vulnerable population of children, those who need specialized assistance with learning and communication. read more »
  • How to help high-achieving students manage stress

    Tips and insight for parents

    School administrators at Howard County Public Schools (HCPS) in Maryland were surprised to learn that high-achieving students wanted to get rid of class rank—a measure of student success that weighs higher-level classes differently when calculating grade point average. The class ranking system created an unnecessary burden, students said, and discouraged them from taking the classes they really wanted. read more »