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The Mama’s Perspective – Are You Comfortable Homeschooling or Allowing Your Kids to Attend School This Fall?

The Mama’s Perspective – Are You Comfortable Homeschooling or Allowing Your Kids to Attend School This Fall?

Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the parenting styles of each Maturing Mama. No Mama is exactly the same in her parenting skills. This is our opportunity to highlight our differences in parenting in a means to help you find a method that works for you.

Today’s Question:

Do you feel more comfortable homeschooling or allowing your kids to attend school/childcare this fall?

Chanelle

I truly thought I could do it. I mean the numbers of COVID-19 cases are going up again and it’s so unpredictable. Truly I have no idea what this public school system will be like for my daughter as this is her first year in elementary school. Will the kids truly be safe? Can I truly trust the public school system?

I was registered and ready for homeschooling for the last week until today! I can’t do it. I cannot be responsible for my daughter’s education. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed just looking at the material and curriculum. In fact, I just don’t feel like it! I mean it would be me pretty much doing school along side her and my brain can’t handle that. 

Also I’m in great need of a break! It’s been years since my oldest was in a childcare program. I need a moment of time where I can have quiet while my youngest naps. Or just a period of time where there’s no screaming or fighting. I miss those “one kid” days. 

For the sake of my sanity, I’m putting my daughter into the public system. I spoke with her teacher about the procedure for if she does constantly get sick and they have another program ready for that. 

They said that for any student who shows they have a weak immune system, they have the option of being transferred to a blended program consisting of homeschooling (still led by the teacher) and one day a week in school. 

This way I can take things one step at a time and we can make adjustments as we see fit. I feel safe with the school’s staff because they’ve shown willingness to work with my comfort level and any changing circumstances. 

They are also doing a gradual entry program of 1 hour per day, which will then increase slowly each week until they are in school for one afternoon each day permanently. I personally don’t think that’s a lot and it’s enough to make me feel safe and have a break.


Dawne

I can’t believe it’s almost September and we are preparing for school. This year Zoe is entering kindergarten, which should be a super exciting time, but I am faced with so many mixed emotions.

In British Columbia, where we live, the COVID-19 cases have started to increase to a level higher than when schools were initially closed in March. But the government has decided to reopen schools with what seems like very few changes. 

The Government of BC has announced that students will be put into learning groups of up to 60 students in elementary and 120 students in high school and the class sizes will be the same. This concerns me since many schools in our area are overpopulated and poorly ventilated. They are only requiring masks in high trafficked areas where students cannot socially distance (not the classroom) and only for students aged 10 and up. We will learn more about the individual plans for different school districts soon and I look forward to learning more.

As a family, even though we are wary, we need to send Zoe to school. My husband and I both work full time, myself within the school system which comes with a whole different bag of anxieties and my husband within the healthcare system. We are unable to keep Zoe home to do distance or home learning, we just wouldn’t have the time or resources. Plus, for Zoe, it’s not her best option.

Zoe is Deaf and has been attending a preschool for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children for the past 2 years and will be attending a school for the Deaf for kindergarten. The teachers and staff at the school will be able to provide Zoe access to a language rich environment, as well as Deaf mentors and time with her peers. Attending this specialized school makes our decision so much easier since she will be in a class with only 4 other children, keeping her bubble fairly small. 

I think the choice between schooling options right now is so personal for each family. The choice is definitely not easy and comes with so much worry. Just remember when making the decision that you are doing what you think is best for your family and know that if things don’t go as planned, you can always change course.


Breann

Our family is used to having two working parents. Prior to being let go from my position, both of my boys were lucky enough to have a dayhome that didn’t close down due to Covid-19. They went there Monday to Friday and played with other kids every day. 

When the question for this mama’s perspective came up, I thought my response would be an unpopular one. My kids were home with me as I worked from home for 3 months, then they went to visit family for a month, then they went to a dayhome full time for a few weeks. We have been all over the place in terms of childcare since March, but not once did I question whether my kids should go to childcare. As a mom who had a career outside of the home, I needed my kids to be in childcare so I could go to work.

Now with school starting again this fall, I know I can not handle homeschooling. My oldest child is starting grade 2 this year and needs the extra support and structure of school that I am not able to figure out how to provide. He is on a waiting list to get special needs testing, which makes it even harder for me to be able to teach him what he needs. He also requires Occupational and Speech Therapy, which is not something I know how to do. For him to successfully thrive, he needs to go to school where trained professionals can assist and support him the way he needs.

My youngest son is starting Kindergarten this year. He has been begging to go to school since his older brother started Kindergarten. I have been trying my best to start teaching him things at home but he craves the structure of school. I have done what I can, but it is time to hand him over to the professionals that know what they are doing and can identify where he needs the support. I worry that he may need Speech Therapy as well, but again, I am not trained to be able to do this for him.

My family highly values the education and support that my boys receive from their school. Being an academic person myself, I want my children to be as supported as they can be. Unfortunately, I know I can not provide that to them myself. That is why there are professionals in the schools. They want to see children reach their best potential and will do everything they can to help along the way.


Brittny

Homeschooling was always on my mind for my kids since before they existed. I had the privilege of trying public, private, and homeschool in my grade years and loved them all. I knew many homeschool families and had cousins who homeschooled their whole lives.

When I had Paisley, I was sure I was going to homeschool her during her early years…but then reality hit. I have 3 kids under 4 and so, I decided Paisley would be going into school this year. 

So in January 2020 I enrolled her with the public school near us because I “just knew” I wasn’t capable of homeschooling. Cue the pandemic, and all my plans came crashing down. I am one of those people who has been hiding in my house since March. I am
so scared of getting sick because our house wouldn’t be able to function without me. I run this house and my husband works for this house. If he were to get sick, we would also be in big trouble. If I didn’t have kids, I don’t think I would be too worried. But everyone depends on me, BIG TIME.

I started getting nervous about public school but knew that I would just have to deal with it because I was not up for homeschooling.

April came and schools were shut down and I thought maybe Paisley would be learning online at home anyways. Then June rolled around and they announced that school was back in session. I waited not so patiently throughout the summer to see “how covid went”. A couple weeks ago the numbers started rising again and it was announced that schools would be reopening with a few precautions. That made me nervous.

So I started looking into homeschool again and went back and forth depending on the hour. God kept opening door after door and pointing at homeschool and I kept ignoring him, until finally He sent my aunt over (which was so God led because I had put our family on lockdown again and wasn’t allowing any visitors in our house) and somehow I was okay with her coming over to meet my son for the first time since he was born.

And she came over with BAGS AND BAGS of books and resources and a whole rant on homeschool and why it was awesome. The moment she left I did a 180 and went full blown homeschool mom. I found us an amazing curriculum that is very laid back and full of learning. I bought a laminator and pretty much laminated my entire house haha.

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I made flash cards, crafts, lesson plans and so many things. And it turns out, I was actually made to homeschool. I am having so much fun doing lessons daily with Paisley and Willow (who is 2), and Paisley is whipping through them so fast I can barely keep up. I can see our family continuing to homeschool for a long time, but we will see how it goes and take it one year at a time.


Kyler

My family has always homeschooled. My kids are 8, 11, 13, and 16 and we have been homeschoolers from the time my 16 year old was 3. 

Whenever anyone asked why we decided to homeschool I would always answer “It was Jesus!” For real though. I never grew up thinking anything about homeschool. It was not on my radar whatsoever. Then even after my first son was born, it didn’t cross my mind for a second. It wasn’t until he was at the age that I was ready to start teaching him how to read, and do some basic math, even just discover the names of colors, that I realized I really enjoyed being the one who was able to help him learn. 

It started out with us choosing to try homeschool for preschool and kindergarten, and in those years my son learned so much so quickly we were absolutely positive we would forever homeschool. It has been a roller coaster ride for sure! Constantly having to adapt, change curriculum, relearn certain things alongside my child…but it has all been so worth it.

We are so thankful today for all the extra time we have had together being homeschoolers. I am thankful that when my children showed an interest in something, they had access to resources and time in their day to be able to learn more about it and pursue it. We have loved our flexible schedule and our ability to find programs that were suited to each of our children’s individual learning styles.

Now that the pandemic has created a mass chaos in the public schooling system as we have always known, at least here where my family resides in Washington State, the main piece of advice I have shared with my public school family and friends is to give themselves grace. You have not become overnight homeschoolers. You have been tossed into a new world of crisis schooling. These are two entirely different things.

Without going off on a long rant, I will just leave you with the thought with your kids home for now, embrace the understanding that bookwork is not the only time they will be learning. Kids are CONSTANTLY learning. Take them in the kitchen with you and they can learn conversions, measurements, even fractions! Take them to the store with you and they will learn how to balance their budget, stock up on groceries, and interact with other humans! Life lessons are some of the most important lessons you can teach, yet we often are left with not enough time to properly teach them.

More than anything, especially in this season, I truly believe “to each their own”. Every family knows what is best for their family. And it does not need to match or line up with what that looks like for anyone else. Do what brings you peace and be confident in that decision.


Sharon

Things are still very crazy here in Victoria Australia. We are currently living under stage 4 restrictions where all children are remote learning and only children of essential workers with both parents working and/or vulnerable children are allowed to attend childcare. The Victorian Premier has just released a road map out with some proposed dates of a gradual return to school. 

I can’t give my perspective on what I will be doing once restrictions are eased and schools and childcare re-opens, as my situation is a little bit different. I am a mother of two very young children (7 months and 20 months) and neither attend childcare. My son has a compromised immune system and it is highly recommended that he does not go to childcare, which is the case with or without a pandemic.

If they were school age, I would go on the advice of my son’s specialist. With or without his medical condition in mind, I would want to have trust in the school that they are Covid safe. I would want them following all the possible precautions and keeping families up to date on current research, policies and procedures. I would want to be assured that a quick closure would occur if a positive case was found. I would send them on the basis of there being extremely low numbers of positive cases state-wide recorded (How good would it be to have 0 cases!), and I would keep up to date with advice and information provided by the World Health Organization. Home Schooling would always be an option and I respect all who choose to do so.


Now we’d love to hear from you…

Do you feel more comfortable homeschooling or allowing your kids to attend school/childcare this fall?

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