Deciding what to do about school this year has been a tough choice that many parents have struggled with. Here’s why we decided to homeschool this year.
At the end of the school year last year, we were completely done with school. Distance learning did not work well for my son, and we struggled every day to get him to do the assignments set by the teacher. I think I was happier when the school year ended than he was.
For the first month of summer, we were blissfully ignorant of what the 2020-2021 school year might hold. I didn’t want to think about it, probably because deep down, I knew what was going to happen.
As July progressed with no decision about what school was going to look like in the fall, I grew more and more anxious. Our state kept pushing back the date they were going to announce the plan, and by the last week of July, it was all I could think about. Not knowing what school was going to look like turned me into a nervous wreck. I could barely sleep, let alone get anything concrete done around the house.
Finally, on July 30 our state came out with the official guidelines for how school will be starting this year. When they announced that it was up to each school district to decide, I about lost my mind. We had already decided that if our kids’ school did distance learning in any way, we’d homeschool them, but if they got to go to school full time, we’d send them to school. Unfortunately, we had no idea when we were going to get an answer.
The next day, our school district came out and said they were going to use a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning, with the chance of them switching between that, full-time distance learning, and full-time in-person learning. So we officially decided to homeschool our kids.
Making this decision was not an easy one. I prayed a lot, did a lot of thinking (and worrying), talked to lots of mama friends, talked to my sister who is a teacher, and really thought about what was going to be best for my kids. My daughter is going to be starting kindergarten, and I just couldn’t imagine her kindergarten experience being partially (or maybe even fully) online. She has no idea how to use a computer! And as far as my son goes, we already know distance learning didn’t work for him.
I know it’s not the right decision for every family, but homeschooling is the right decision for us right now. We’re lucky that I work from home and I have the time and ability to homeschool them, because I know that’s not even an option for a lot of families.
Homeschooling will give us consistency and we won’t have to worry about switching between the different learning models. We’ll also have flexibility and be able to continue school whether the kids have colds or we travel. One-on-one learning is also pretty important for them at this age, since they need a lot of direction and can’t do school on their own. We’ll be able to learn what they want to learn, and spend more time on things they don’t understand, and less time on things they already know.
Public education is great, and depending on what school looks like next year, I’d be happy to have them go to school in a classroom. But for now, it’s just not what’s best for them.
I am fully confident in my ability to give them a good education this year, and honestly, we’re all kind of excited to get started! We’ve added some things to the kids’ homework room to turn it into their homeschooling room (thank goodness for that triple desk I made!), and we’ve had fun buying and organizing school supplies and curriculum. My son is already asking me if we can start the school year early, even though public school in Minnesota doesn’t start until September 15th this year.
I’m not sharing this because I feel the need to explain myself or because I want to convince other people to homeschool. I just wanted to write out our reasoning for homeschooling because I know it’s a big decision, and one a lot of parents are thinking about right now. Whatever you and your family decides to do, be confident. Only you can make the best decision for your children!