• Dr. Matt Zakreski

In defense of snow days for homeschooling

Originally posted on

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As a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with kids, especially neurodiverse kids, I am entirely in favor of letting kids have snow days during distance learning and the global pandemic.

Why, Dr. Matt? Don't kids need structure, routine, and education? Obviously. But Kids also need exercise, fresh air, and unstructured play. These areas have fallen off drastically during distance learning. Kids need time away from demand tasks like school and chores, time to just be kids. Our increasingly rigid adherence to academic "progress" for kids at whatever cost is hurting our kids socially, emotionally, and developmentally.

Students are not factory workers. They are kids. They need to be treated as such.

For all of the groups of people who have taken on increased burdens during the covid-19 period, I think that we have neglected how hard distance learning has been on our kids. They miss their friends, playing together, and having down time. They need to have things like snow days as part of the social contract of attending school; you do what you're asked and you can have days of release and relief when the weather allows. It is a valued and necessary treat. given how overworked and stressed our teachers are as well during these trying times, I can say confidently that our teachers would meet a day off (no teaching, emails, or meetings) just as much as our kids.

In short, I call on our administrators and teachers to step back and allow a win for our kids by letting them have snow days during distance learning. A snow day is a welcome surprise for everyone involved in education. In a year that has been so different, let's not let this last gasp of freedom slip away. Let's go outside and play. Let's step away from zoom and into the snow.

If you need me, by the way, I'll be outside building a snowman with my kids.

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