Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be willingly homeschooling my children, but here we are in the middle of a pandemic and I’m not even remotely comfortable with sending my children back to school this fall.
What Will School Look Like?
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) recently posted their guidelines for reopening schools this fall, which gave me a glimpse of what my elementary school children would be returning to. If Distance Learning is no longer offered and students are able to return to school, some of the recommendations the CDC has made are: staggered learning times, temperature checks, face coverings for staff and students, desks spaced six feet apart, use of physical barriers, frequent sanitization, and playground closures. Field trips, school concerts, science fairs, and dances would all be canceled as well.
France implemented some of these same guidelines when they reopened their schools, but there were 70 new COVID-19 cases within one week, causing those schools to immediately close.
This glimpse of our “new normal” absolutely shatters my heart, and I just can’t bear to send my children back to school.
Gone are the days when children can leisurely peruse through the books in their school’s library. Gone are the days when children can play Red Rover, Tag, or Duck Duck Goose at recess with their friends. Gone are the days when a child can simply look up at their teacher warmly smiling at them. It seems like everything that my children love about school will be stripped away, leaving them with broken hearts.
This glimpse of our “new normal” absolutely shatters my heart as well, and I just can’t bear to send my children back to school if this is what it’s going to be like for them. On top of everything else, one of my kids has anxiety issues and the other has sensory issues. Being able to make it through the worrisome school day and keep an uncomfortable mask on would be nearly impossible for them.
My Reasons for Homeschooling
Until this situation resolves, I have decided to homeschool my children. Making this decision was very difficult and stressful because we love my children’s current private school, especially the teachers. The school puts the students’ safety first, and it was one of the first in our county to transition to Distance Learning. As much as I love the school and staff, and appreciate everything they have done with Distance Learning, my children are not getting the same quality of education I was once paying for.
I know this isn’t the school’s fault, so in a way, I feel like I’m betraying our school’s community by choosing to temporarily homeschool, but I also feel like I’m doing what’s best for my family — and the latter is much more important in the long run, especially if it means us not being asymptomatic and unknowingly transmitting COVID-19 to my children’s high-risk grandparents. When it comes to school, however, even if the school is taking responsible actions as well, I know for a fact that other families won’t be and haven’t been for quite some time.
I feel like I’m betraying our school’s community, but I also feel like I’m doing what’s best for my family.
Even if the school moved from Distance Learning back to in-person classrooms with the CDC’s guidelines, I wouldn’t be comfortable with my children attending. I don't want them subjected to a school experience that denies them everything they used to enjoy. I want their memories of school to be of fun and togetherness, not suspicion and fear.
Deciding to homeschool should not be taken lightly, as many important factors need to be taken into consideration, especially the financial sacrifices your family will need to make. I realize that not every family is fortunate enough to be able to homeschool, and in that aspect, my family is very blessed. When it comes down to it though, every parent needs to do what they feel is best for their family. When it comes to parenting during a pandemic, there is no such thing as making a right or wrong choice. Just make the best choice you can.