Monday, June 29, 2020

Pt. 38 - Decisions.

Day 85 - June 7th, 2020

     My mind is so full these days. As if a pandemic wasn't enough to handle mentally. It's crazy how much this world is going through, and we all have to re-orient ourselves within it. For example - I'm seriously considering homeschooling the boys. I never truly thought I'd be in this position - to even let it be a real possibility, even though I feel like the option has always been swimming around in the background of my mind. Distance learning through the school even showed me that it would be much harder than I thought it would and that I might not actually want to do it. But we're facing so many unknowns, having to put our trust in government and district leaders to make safe decisions for all types of families. I think the shutdown has proven that they're capable of making alternative plans, but will they continue to or will they rush back to normal and the addiction to remain in the race of the elite? I'm not sure. And it feels like now is the time to take alternative steps to fit individual families if the overall plan isn't sufficient for all.

     The most pressing discrepancy I'm worried about is handling the school year safely - with health at the top of the priority list. Maybe I'm more worried because we have an immunocompromised family member, but I'm sure I'd be concerned even without that factor. Second is the way this cultural upheaval is being handled. I trust the schools with this one, and know that there's a natural diversity and inclusion in our school community that would be harder to replicate on my own. Conversations, books, and other learning materials are always at my disposal, but that's not the same as actual experience, and fostering diverse friendships. Third is the overall "temperature" of the environment. Violence has been rising for years - tensions over politics and religion are tight and grinding, and acts of terror are frequent and widespread. The budget vote for next year's capital project is to increase school safety measures. I'm proud of that, but how long will it be from vote to implementation that we have to hope nothing will go wrong? Life is unpredictable and not guaranteed, but would I be doing my best job of protecting my kids by keeping them out of public environments? At least without a parent present?

     And finally, is the reason I've always considering homeschooling at all, is to take my kids off the conveyor belt of government-fueled curriculum and labor based training to let them be who they are. Teaching to their interests, investing in their skills, releasing the pressure of their pace and comparison to their peers. I want to offer them those things, but I also fear for my abilities to keep it going in their upper grades. I worry that I won't be able to sufficiently prepare them for college. I worry that they won't solidify their friendships or form relationships as teenagers. And what about just getting away from each other from time to time? We all need space and varied experiences, and I worry that if we chose to homeschool, we'll all feel exasperated by each other at times. It's happened with distance learning. But we've always known that was temporary and just something to get through with as much patience and grit as we can muster. But what if it's not?

     Considering all of that plagues me. Daily. There's a July 1st deadline for telling the district you plan to start the school year at home. I'm not sure if that will stand with this situation, but that's less than a month away, and there's no word on what the school year will even look like. The principal at the boys' school told me that they're considering a full re-open, partial (half time at school and half at home), and a full distance learning experience so that they're prepared for whatever happens. So the possibilities are there, but they're not concrete enough to help me make a decision. I'm pretty sure we can give a 2-week notice mid school year, but does that mean they could have to face two dangerous weeks in school at the point where I feel it's unsafe? I just can't fully see my way around this, yet.

     I have much more to say, but the littles have risen and are all but demanding sustenance (hard to keep these boys full) so, later.

No comments:

Post a Comment