When this craziness with Covid-19 first started and I learned I would be homeschooling my ten year old twins I will admit, I went a little crazy. I don’t understand their stupid math. It makes no sense, no matter how many times teachers tell you it does, it does not. Not to us who learned the “old fashioned” way. But it turned out not to be that big of a deal. Most of what they do is online and the teacher is able to check it from her end and then we do some independent reading and take nature walks and make crafts. I now kind of enjoy it to be honest, and so do they.
This isn’t my first homeschool rodeo. When our oldest daughter was a Freshman in high school she had a breakdown. My over achiever burnt herself out and one day the girl just walked out of school, into town and called me to pick her up from a cafe. She told me, “I just can’t do it, Mom.” And that was that. What choice did we have? Make her go to school and possibly find her dead from an overdose? No thank you! So we made the choice to homeschool her that year. I found an online program that had low monthly payments and everything she needed from online teachers. We used Khan Academy to help with the math because she only knew how to do the “new” math and the homeschool program taught the old stuff. She loved it! She zipped through her freshman year and part of her sophomore year with plans to graduate early.
She ended up deciding to go back to school because she missed her friends and wanted to graduate in 2020 with her class. (Little did we know how that would pan out!) And when she returned she did so with straight A’s, 4.0 GPA (higher actually) and graduated tenth in her class. Homeschool did not harm this child one bit. Instead, it gave her a huge advantage she would not have had otherwise.
More importantly, it kept my kid alive and for that I am eternally grateful.
So when the CDC released their guidelines for returning to school in the Fall I flipped my lid. Number one, I think it’s a mistake to go back before this thing is completely under control without the need to wear masks. My children cannot wear a mask for very long, if at all. My son has breathing issues and severe anxiety, my daughter has sensory processing disorder. I can hardly get her to wear clothes let alone a mask!
But still, the government and schools are pushing to reopen. Why? Well in a nutshell – money. Yep. I am convinced it comes down to the dollars. Teachers want to go back to work, even though the majority are still being paid their normal salaries to work from home. Parents want to go back to work to support their families, and many use schools as babysitting services. So I get that, people want to work, people need child care. And I also understand some parents are perfectly willing to send their kids back to school wearing a mask, gloves, Hasnat suit if necessary. These are the parents who will do whatever their school says because they have “SCHOOL SPIRIT!”
I find the school spirit parents the most disturbing. These are the ones on the PTA, the sports parents, the cheerleaders, the ones who are always shouting “I stand behind my school!” Well guess what? I stand behind my children. I will do whatever I need to do to keep them safe and comfortable and if that means homeschooling till this is over, then so be it.
People will argue that our children need socialization. Well how much socialization are they going to get in school when they have to remain six feet apart, in a mask, are not allowed to share toys, books, and can’t have recess, gym, etc? Not much! Here at home they’ll have each other and me and their sister and dad, pets. Plus I plan to take them for walks and they’ll see people then. Not the same as real socialization, but better than nothing.
Reopening the schools in the fall, not only in my opinion, but based on models from health officials, will do this: START THE WHOLE DAMN THING OVER AGAIN! You send the kids to school in their little masks, you tell them to stay away from each other and wash their hands, etc. And you know what is going to happen? They aren’t going to listen. Because they are freaking kids. You are not going to be able to keep eyes on them at all times. You going to follow them into the bathroom? Those masks are going to come off, there will be huddling to whisper so they don’t get caught, laughing, talking, sneezing, coughing, nose picking, touching of faces.
And those miracle masks everyone loves? Well, once the little ones sneak them off then put them back on, they are now chock full of germs, right up against your kids mouth and nose, going right into their systems. Then they will bring those germs home to you, but not before sharing them with all their friends.
That’s the reality of what is going to happen if you re-open schools. People are going to get sick again, your child is going to get sick and they are going to spread that sickness to vulnerable people who are going to die. Plus we will still don’t know just how this effects children. I’m not willing to let my child be used as a guinea pig while they sort this shit out.
I know there are some people who simply cannot continue to homeschool because of their situations. I wish everyone had the option to keep their kids at home. But unfortunately the government has been and always will be pro public school no matter what evidence there is to back up the benefits of homeschool.
If schools insist on reopening, then at least give parents an option of whether to continue at home or go back to face to face learning with the teacher. I can do it on my own but it would be easier for my children to be able to remain with their class until they are able to go back to school normally and safely.
I sincerely hope all schools will consider this option. Parents have a right to keep their children safe and no child should be used as a pawn for our ridiculous government.