This year back to school looks different for many people and coming to the decision of 'what to do' is not easy whether you land on returning to a bricks and mortar school, distance learning, or traditional homeschooling. As we were thinking of the three options that are available to us in our province, it came down to in the present circumstances in our world, which method of education will allow our family to thrive the best?
There are many that feel they are left with little choice due to work responsibilities. For them, bricks and mortar education is the only choice even if they wish that distance learning or traditional homeschooling were an option for them. For some, the distance learning method fits into their family well. For others the traditional homeschooling fits into their family well. One thing I do know, is that no matter what each family decides, they love their children and are doing their very best to make the best choice possible, given current circumstances. One thing we all long for is for our children to be safe, inspired, challenged, and become lifelong learners. We all want what is best for our children and we all desire for our families to thrive.
For us it came down to the fact that the distance learning model we were thrown into this spring, did not work for us. Something else that does not work for us when it comes to education in a bricks and mortar school during a pandemic is to be constantly living in the unknowns of will our child be sent home 'sick' today? How often will they have to quarantine? Will schools be completely shut down once again? Then what? It's not the fear of the virus, it's the unknowns and uncertainties that come with living in the time of a global pandemic.
Having been a teacher for over a decade, educating our child at home would not be a huge stretch for me. What would be a huge stretch is not having the 'down time' my personality needs to thrive and do well in life. We think we have found a way in which to give me that time and for us to still thrive. I look forward to learning together this year and tailoring Olivia's learning to her interests. I also know that whatever we have decided for this year does not mean it is the final decision for the remainder of her years of education. This is what we feel will work right now and it is okay to make changes as needed.
One of the challenges I face, is homeschooling in the midst of two major house renovations, so things will be simple. If it doesn't fit onto or in the 'cart', it doesn't work for us right now. We are taking advantage of our public library for literature resources and doing some of our learning using online programs to help minimize all 'the stuff'.
Please know, that whatever you have decided in the aspect of education for your child this year, it is the right decision for you in this moment and it does not have to be the end all and be all decision. You have made the decision out of a deep love for your child. We will all have so many opportunities to practice grace upon grace upon grace this year-- for ourselves, our children and those around us.