advice from a veteran home schooler in the time of covid-19


as a family of seven that has been home schooling for about 12 years, i wanted to share some tips that may help families with children who will be spending a lot more time together in the coming weeks.


make a fresh start. As we live through uncertain times, we can take the opportunity to reframe social distancing as a time to reconnect with our loved ones.


  • set your intention to reconnect as a family
  • do a mental health check-in: address concerns and worries, discuss the situation in an age-appropriate manner
  • get buy-in & input from your children on how they envision the next few weeks
  • set realistic expectations
  • re-evaluate & reflect regularly: what is working? what needs to change? what was learned? what to do next?



  • is there something you always wanted to do as a family? do that!
  • develop a loose, general routine
  • expect to exercise your patience muscle
  • use short durations for activities and tasks
  • use do-overs when someone makes a mistake, gets frustrated or upset
  • do not try to recreate school at home or buy a bunch of “educational” stuff



create a new normal that works for your family’s specific situation.


  • make a point to show affection and give positive affirmations
  • get spouse and older children involved in leading and teaching activities
  • go outside regularly
  • read aloud together
  • watch lectures, TED talks, movies and documentaries
  • play board & car games; do sudoko, crossword and coloring books
  • get crafty or journal & draw



  • do science experiments
  • teach life skills: cooking, cleaning, laundry, personal finance
  • cook & eat as a family
  • worship, pray and read sacred scriptures
  • take naps
  • learn one new thing every day
  • manage screen time



Remember — the Force be with you, always.



the final session of the design like a girl 2017-2018 session:

girls first designed a vision board for imaginary clients, then made scale models.

here is mercyGirl’s artshed model.

all the girls presented their designs. no two were alike and all of them had thoughtful elements that made me utter quiet exclamations of surprise.

i’m hopeful for the future of women in architecture & design.

pequena capoeirista

signGirl participated in her first batizado (capoeira initiation ceremony) with Capoeira MalĂȘs DC, along with a performance and troca de corda (changing of cords).

the kids planned an amazing show with a bit of history of capoeira, and showcasing how it has both artistic and scientific elements.

the awarding of cords was also a lot of fun because of all the playing, music and singing. even spectators have a responsibility to add to the energy of the circle by clapping and singing.

you’ll see what I mean:

homeschool day at adventure park

my homies helped me win tickets to the adventure park at sandy spring friends school so I was able to take three of my girls and join them in the trees.

it was a challenging, yet rewarding experience for them. after completing a trail, they would go right back to the start to have a go at another trail.

there were times when we called for help (“Staff!”), there were some tears of frustration, there were times when we bailed out before the finish, but we all left happy and spent. kind of like our normal homeschool days.

can you find my girls (three of them) in this picture above?