My wife and I have decided to home-school both of our children full-time from here on out.
We’d gone back and forth on this for years now, ultimately their acceptance into the local Charter School which has a very high standard was the determining factor on delaying the decision.
Given the current state of affairs, home-schooling seems to be the responsible decision to make for the families who are able to do so. Both Charter and Private schools are going to be facing the same issues as public, Corona has eliminated the gap which once existed, COVID-19 does not discriminate based on the cost of education.
Is It A Good Idea To Home-School?
For the families who have a parent (or both) teleworking, keeping your children home this year may be the best thing for their mental health and your sanity as well.
Perception: Homeschooling will require more time and work on your part as a parent.
Reality – If you look at all of the cases of towns sending kids back to school, there’s an almost immediate disruption to the “schedule” and ultimately sending kids to school requires more scheduling, management, and juggling or video calls and classes on your part as a parent.
If you think you’re going to be sending your kid(s) to school for X # of days a week and that they’ll be Tele-Learning the other days, what happens when all of the sudden there is an outbreak?
Classes will be cancelled and your schedule is going to be changed; this is going to happen monthly all year long.
Think I’m being extreme?
- Teachers returned to a Georgia school district last week. 260 employees have already gone home to quarantine.
- Corinth School District, first to reopen in Mississippi, reports COVID-19 case
- New York’s teachers’ unions want a single COVID-19 case in a school to trigger an immediate 14-day closure
If you’d chosen to keep your kid home from the onset, you’d be the one dictating the schedule and you could use online learning/videos for the time you needed to be in a call or dealing with your own job.
Perception: You aren’t qualified to teach your kids, you aren’t a “Teacher” you’re a Mom or Dad, right?
Reality – The programs out there are designed to both help facilitate the education of your child as well as yourself.
You’ll learn while you’re teaching and for many, the curriculum is already designed, you simply need to ensure you’re monitoring, grading, and recording your child’s progress.
Khan Academy is an excellent resource to get things started, but it’s not the end all be all of education being offered to those being home-schooled.
Even though both my wife and I are college educated and have the work experience which is suited for home-schooling (her Associates is in Early Childhood Education and she worked as a Director at a Day Care and my Graduate Degree is in Exercise Science and I was an Instructor in the Navy) we’re both not 100% sure what we’re doing.
Even with knowledge and experience, we’re as nervous and excited as the kids because this is new for all of us and that’s okay; this will be an opportunity for the family to come together and figure it out as a united front, as families should.
Perception: You and your children are going to be together 24/7 and it’s going to get everyone on each-other’s nerves.
Reality – This is the perfect opportunity to “Un-School” the kids.
This term is one Jackie and I have seen since making the decision to take out children’s education into our hands.
Home-Schooling does not have to replicate school, the kids don’t need to be glued to a screen or text book for 8 hours a day.
You can make it a more interactive style of education, one which gets the children engaged and immersed in the environment, learning instead of memorizing; becoming individuals who think and not ones who can simply pass a test.
You don’t have to sit and stare at your kids for hours, you also need to remember that you are mom and dad on top of teacher.
Make alone time a part of your daily routine, time for reading or watching educational videos separate from one another. It will be trial and error as you go through the days, but you’ll figure a routine out and at the end of the day, these are your children, ultimately their education is your responsibility, not the government’s, right?
So why would you think they’d be better off having a random adult spend hours a day together along with a variety of other kids instead of you?
What should parents that can’t home-school do?
I’m ranting and raving about home-schooling because I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so thanks entirely to all of those who’ve supported my work through donations, books sales, and purchasing the products I’ve released.
Add to that my wife being a Realtor and we’re in a position which not every couple is going to find themselves in.
You aren’t a bad parent if you have to send your kids to school and you shouldn’t have a complex if the opportunity is simply not one you can manage to work out, even if you wanted to.
With that said, what you can do is work to educate your child to the reality of the world and let them know that no matter what, you are all going to get through this together.
They need to know this heading into the new environment that their normal school routine once was.
Age will dictate the conversation, but the intent is universal, tensions will be high, they will be frustrated, and you will be stressed if/when Corona outbreaks happen.
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Work together; it’s the only way your family will come out of this time period tighter than you were when you entered it.
If your child has to go to school spaced out on a bus, wearing a mask all day long, eating alone at their desk, no recess, and then back on the bus, spaced from their friends they need to detox when they get home.
Have some ideas to help them blow off some steam that will build throughout the day.
- Make desserts together.
- Get a large white sheet, tie it up, and throw paint at it.
- Have a “do nothing” day where you go for a walk, watch movies, and skip any homework or reading.
Remember that you have to work during this, your kid has to navigate these fear filled waters, and the only way you’re both going to come out of this mentally sound is if you’re physically bonding and creating an atmosphere of connection and positive vibes.
What a shame it would be for your kid to be stressed-out in school and to then return home to an angry parent who is stressed out from work.
That is no way to live; it’s simply unsustainable.
We don’t know how long Corona is going to last, so remain pro-active and come up with your game-plan for handling this school year now.
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