GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — As a homeschooling mom, Ellen Crain feels your pain.
"My heart goes out to all the people who are being thrust into this right now because it's such a stressful way to get started."
But fear not, because she knows the drill.
She recommends that "families just get a rhythm around sleeping and eating, because we're all changing our lives completely, and getting some exercise."
"You'll have a good routine going and when the distance learning starts you can slide in the academics and it won't be quite such an adjustment for kids.
We asked her how much time a day should family members be spending on academics? Her response was that it depends on the age, and "for little ones, probably not much more than an hour or two... maybe three or four hours for middle school or high school. But it shouldn't take all day."
She also mentioned that "doing things with large groups of children just takes time. When it's just one or two kids you're going to be able to get through things a lot more quickly."
But what about moms and dads that still have to get their own work done?
Ellen has two pieces of advice.
She says its okay to say to kids that "after lunch we're going to have an hour of quiet time, and everyone has to go off to their rooms and entertain themselves quietly. They can learn to do that and it will everyone a break from each other, and it might give mom and dad a chance to focus."
"We also need to remember not to lean too hard on teenagers for childcare, because that's easy to do when we're stressed."
If you get too stressed, she mentioned one thing you can do. Homeschool Boss has a group called Emergency Homeschooling.
"You can just snap a picture of the problem you're struggling with and other parents will jump in and help you with what's going on."
Ellen's last thing to say to parents? She "want[s] parents to know that the homeschool community is here, and we understand what you're going through, and we're here to help."