Kristen Bell on Her Kids' Book About Inclusivity, Homeschooling Daughters: 'Been Doing the Math'
Both of Kristen Bell's daughters (Delta, 5, and Lincoln, 7) gave her "the thumbs up" after reading her new kids' book, The World Needs More Purple People
In an exclusive interview featured in this week's issue of PEOPLE, The Good Place star explains why she decided to write a book about inclusivity and how she's handling the challenges of being both Mommy and teacher to her two kids during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"We wanted to figure out how to write a road map of the things that make us similar and bring us together versus our differences," says the 39-year-old actress about The World Needs More Purple People, which she wrote with friend Benjamin Hart. "There's so many more things that bring us together than apart."
The picture book celebrates the things that connect us as humans and encourages children to find their voice. It will be released by Random House Children's Books on June 2.
"I want kids to think being a purple person is cool. I'm desperate for that to happen. Because in order for a kid to strive for something, they have to think it's cool," she says. "So I hope kids take from it a desire to become purple and to teach their parents how to be purple, and to teach our friends how to be purple. I hope this creates a whole new group of people that is non-exclusionary."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Both Lincoln and Delta have given her "the thumbs up" after reading the book, Bell says.
"I mean, I don't know that I want to ask them any more questions because they do have strong opinions and they do use their voice," she jokes. "I don't know that I'm ready for their editing of this book, especially since it's done."
The girls have also been vocal about Bell's homeschooling abilities. In April, the Veronica Mars actress revealed that Lincoln had written an opinion essay and was less than flattering when reviewing her teacher/mom.
"Trying to get my 1st grader to write her first opinion essay, and was quite impressed with the topic she chose as she presented her grid with opinion and evidence," Bell captioned a photo of the school project.
RELATED VIDEO: Neil Patrick Harris On His Magical New Children's Book: "I Wanted To Honor The Differences People Have"
"How my momy reacts to me," Lincoln's grid read in the middle, with sections emanating from the center that read, "bad reactions," "doesn't believe in me," "no patience" and "stern voice."
Despite the review, Bell tells PEOPLE that homeschooling is better now that they've torn up the girls' academic schedules.
"I said if the plan is making everyone miserable, the lesson is to pivot. Pivot, right?" she explains. "We are using a combination of a few different online teaching techniques. One where their teachers can upload videos, and they are splitting the work among the entire grade of teachers, which is kind of genius."
Now, the kids' schedule is decidedly different. "I'm trying to finish all the schoolwork if we can," she says. "Really, the priorities are: one thing for your brain, one thing for your body. That's a way better schedule than whatever color-coded nonsense I tried to instill."
While husband Shepard, 45, helps when and wherever he can, Bell explains that she's been handling most of the at-home lessons for their kids — including math.
"I've been doing the math, shockingly. But, by the way, we're at first-grade math so I'm not bragging here, okay?" she jokes. "We're counting in tens and stuff, which I can handle. I have never been so grateful that I waited to have children, so I don't have a fifth-grader in my life right now."
The World Needs More Purple People goes on sale June 2.
For more about Kristen Bell's new children's book, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.