Since March 2020, we have experienced an educational exodus from the traditional classroom to the bedrooms, living rooms and even bathrooms of students around the world.

For perhaps the first time in human history, one group was ahead of the curve with this whole remote learning fiasco: homeschoolers.

As someone who was homeschooled from Pre-K through senior year of high school, I’d like to share some perspective on the phenomenon and compare the difference between “Zoom University” and your typical happy, healthy home academy.

The greatest similarity in Zoom school and home school is the ability to wear one set of pajamas throughout an entire day. Finding the right set of pajamas is an art—your t-shirt covered in holes and oversized boxers likely won’t make the cut, seeing as you may need something presentable to wear on a spontaneous trip to the store or for an unexpected visit from a neighbor.

The perfect homeschool uniform is one that balances function and feeling, an all-weather arrangement that’s as ready for the day as you are. Sweatpants make for a perfect addition to your wardrobe, and a bevy of white t-shirts on hand will never steer you wrong.

Truly, the outfit makes the person here, and those who wake up to dress well for a day of from-home learning simply won’t make it.

As entire schools move online, the typical student can access most of a school's services from the comfort of their own homes. The homeschooled student has similar access, although normally reduced to one or two figures: mom and dad. Upset stomach? Go to mom, she’ll give you Pepto-Bismol and promptly send you back to your studies.

With remote learning, illness-related absences are often excused; but in an environment where the school nurse, principal, teacher and custodian are all often the same person, days off become fewer and farther between. A day sick at home is day sick at school, full of all the regular coursework trappings to ensure a well-rounded education.  

Perhaps the biggest difference I see between homeschooling and remote learning is the environment each cultivates. As wonderfully as many professors handle their online classes, nearly every student would agree that an in-person learning environment would better suit their education. With homeschooling, this in-person learning takes place everyday and is the expectation, not the compromise.

It’s a commitment parents must be willing to make, as it comes with a responsibility to foster an environment for children to grow and thrive. Many have risen to the challenge successfully and have raised students who are perhaps better prepared for this new age of learning than anyone else.

Though I’ve never taken my mom to prom (yes there are homeschool dances, and yes, people have taken their mothers) I’ve been in and around the homeschooling arena long enough to see the benefits it offers. My experiences have certainly lent a hand through particularly arduous online classes and allowed me to glean more from this format than some of my peers.

So, if you ever feel at your wits end with remote learning, I encourage you to find your nearest socially-awkward sweatpants wearer; they’ll certainly know what to do.

Canaan Charrier is a 19-year-old finance, religious studies and international relations sophomore from Monroe.

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