Why It’s So Hard to Report on Schools While Home-Schooling During a Pandemic

With a college kid rooting around the fridge for yet another meal, a husband conducting loud Zoom meetings about two feet from my desk, and a teen with autism freaking out from a lack of structure, 2020 is not shaping up to be a banner year for productivity as a freelance education writer. I only published two pieces since the schools were shut down in March.

Across professions, working parents had a tough spring as they attempted to do their jobs while reviewing math facts with their 7-year-olds and building Legos with toddlers. One survey found that the average parent spent 13 hours per week helping their children with their schoolwork this spring. Experts say that this burden has fallen most strongly on women, with many speculating that this new load may set a generation of women permanently behindin the workplace.

If I were going through this alone, I would have adjusted to the “new normal” eventually. But the school closure was particularly tough on my son with autism. I struggled to find blocks of uninterrupted time to get into the flow of writing when so many hours were spent filling in the vacuum that school left. I questioned my ability to continue to write about schools objectively, given our family’s experiences. Despite these difficulties, I am more committed to my career more than ever, because this pandemic has shown a bright light on the vital role that schools play in our society and economy, and how writing about education and children matters.

More here



  1. Hi Laura. I came upon your Apt11 blog from when you moved into your new apt and found the Hebrew-English Old testament. I saw there were a lot of opinions and presumptions about it (as a Jew I can say that some were way off LOL). I have my great-grandparents copy – same publishing company, same typeset, etc. Their copy is dated 1921. In it is stamped Austria; that is their country of origin. Because it’s english and hebrew means that your copy and mine are from the States, but I’m still stumped how they got their copy and why it was stamped Austria since they were already American residents. What did you find out about your copy?
    I look forward to your reply.
    Neal Rosenblum, Denver CO


    • Hi Neal –

      Yes, I wrote about this bible on my personal blog, Apt. 11D. On weekends, I go to estate sales, buy books, and sell them on Etsy. It’s a hobby, and it’s how I found this book. I sold the book last year for $40. Here was the description for the item:

      The Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, Hebrew and English, Berlin, The British & Foreign Bible Society, 1903

      Shabby chic condition. Box, but broken. Missing cover on spine. front cover is loose. Gilt pages. Inscription. See pictures for more evidence of condition.

      Inscription translation — “The Yiddish says From the pen of Aaron (and I’m assuming what I can’t see is probably Bella), and then the 4th day of Hanuka, and the Hebrew year for 1913 (תרע״ד).”

      Here’s a history of the British and Foreign Bible Society from 1910:

      Here’s the org’s web page: https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/about-us/our-history/

      The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply the Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society with charity status whose purpose is to make the Bible available throughout the world.[1]

      The Society was formed on 7 March 1804 by a group of people including William Wilberforce and Thomas Charles to encourage the “wider circulation and use” of the Scriptures.

      It was founded in 1804 and did a lot of translating of the Bible, including into indigenous languages (e.g., Mohawk for Canadians).

      “During World War One Bible Society distributed more than nine million copies of Scripture, in over 80 languages, to combatants and prisoners of war on all sides of the war. Bible Society managed this despite immense challenges – supply shortages, rising paper costs, paper rationing, submarine blockades and the sinking of merchant shipping.[5]

      Even greater than these physical difficulties was the emotional toll – former colleagues suddenly found themselves fighting on opposing sides. Bible salesmen throughout Europe were conscripted or volunteered into their respective armies. The Bible Society responded to the challenge. They printed New Testaments bound in khaki, stamped with a cross, for distribution via the Red Cross among sick and wounded soldiers, sailors and prisoners of war. ”



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