Rascal Flatts member Joe Don Rooney was one of millions of parents who suddenly found themselves stepping into the role of teacher when the coronavirus pandemic began with three school-aged kids at home. Rooney and wife Tiffany share son Jagger, 12, and daughters Raquel, 9, and Devon, 5, and the musician now has brand new respect for teachers and what they do.
"Homeschooling was crazy," Rooney told the band's record label. "I have a whole new respect for teachers instructors out there. I don’t know how they do it. It was challenging but we got through it and I was really proud of my kids, a different deal for them." Despite the difficulties of homeschooling, Rooney shared that he was happy to have more time at home to spend with his children. "The down time’s been pretty good, to be honest," he said. "Reconnect with the family and reintroduce myself to my kids."
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"They miss their friends so bad," he added of his children. "It’s really neat though, to have dinner at our dinner table and actually talk, like no devices and actually talk about life and just what they’re going through and their day, and that’s been kind of nice to connect in a really different way with the kids."
Rooney's bandmate Gary LeVox shared that while he was productive for a little while during quarantine and that has "been awesome to have time off," that period has seemingly ended. "I’ve done all kinds of work around the house, I’ve written songs. I mean you really run out of stuff to do," he said. "But it certainly put life back in perspective, for sure. But it’s not where I want to stay." LeVox continued, "I can’t wait to start going back to work, singing some music, doing something other than what I’ve been doing. But you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do and stay home and stay safe, and that’s the most important thing."
Rascal Flatts is currently preparing for the release of their EP, How They Remember You, on July 31, which will include six previously released songs as well as the trio's cover of Kenny Rogers' "Through the Years." The EP's title track is currently at country radio as the group's latest single.