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Why We Are Homeschooling This Year

blog homeschool Sep 07, 2020

And why you don't have to!



Here’s my nutshell answer to the question, “Why are you homeschooling your kids this year?”


Because I want to:)


Moms and Dads, that is alllllll the reason you need to provide, regardless of what you’ve chosen to do for your kids’ schooling this year. Here at About Progress, know that we love and support you, and that we believe you are doing the best you can to do what’s right for you and yours.


That being said, I think it would be nice for people to see our own reasoning behind homeschooling this year (and possibly beyond), as we are all in this weird time together. 


My intent with this COVID-School Series is to simply support you in your own decision process, regardless of the outcome.


“If COVID keeps going, we are absolutely homeschooling next year.”


A few weeks into April and distance learning, I announced to Brad “If COVID keeps going, we are absolutely homeschooling next year.” He wasn’t too keen on the idea then, but I was. I believed that that would be our best choice for the fall for a few reasons:


  1. My two oldest have unique needs and zoom calls weren’t working for them.
  2. Our freak-outs and tantrums went way down. I saw a stark contrast in how emotionally-well my kids were pre- and post- “normal schooling.” It was clear to me that school was overloading them mentally and emotionally. While our “good days” are other people’s “bad days” with their kids (this is just a fact--I’m not complaining), I did see a shift in their overall happiness and ability to better regulate themselves.
  3. Stable routines are VITAL to my kids flourishing. The hybrid models around us, or full distance learning, would basically be like starting over each day. So yes, while homeschooling was not going to be a pool of fun for me or them, it was still worth it to have my kids seem more like themselves instead of falling apart for hours on end after school.
  4. We are still not settled. While our home in SLC is being renovated, we currently live in my parents’ basement, likely for most of the school year. I wasn’t about to drive them a half hour each way, and alternate that with distance learning. I also wasn’t about to have them in a local school here with that model, and then to pull them out late-winter / early-spring once we move--again. My kids have already had so much change this year. I couldn’t put more of that on them.


Also, I’ve contemplated homeschooling for a very long time.


While I am absolutely behind public schools, I have considered homeschooling for YEARS. Since I was a teacher myself, I can see seeds that were planted in me to one day homeschool. Plus, I’ve basically interviewed homeschooling mamas since my oldest was a newborn. I was fascinated by how they did things and figuring out what it would look like in our family. Having a child with special needs from the beginning has led me to a more holistic side of the internet, and that included many families who found homeschooling to be the best fit for their unique kids.


Right before the quarantine hit, we almost pulled our daughter out of school because of some scary and devastating bullying she was enduring at school. After the school finally stepped in, I was willing to give it another month and closely monitor how she was doing and the school’s response.


But, COVID forced our hand very soon into that timeline. And I’m grateful for it. 


And also not:) This is going to be hard, scary, overwhelming, and stressful. My time to do housework and my job, let alone have my own hobbies and interests is something I’m concerned about.


I do know that this is our best choice for the here and now, given our options. Brad came around to it, too, late-summer; but, we both agree that this is going to be primarily my day-to-day responsibility.


Will we go back to public schools after quarantine ends?


The honest answer is: I don’t know yet.


I deeply value public education and do feel it’s my civic duty to do what I can to contribute to it and enroll my children in its system.


Each of my children have unique needs, as I'm sure so do yours. I feel in my heart of hearts that we’ll likely do a combination of homeschooling and public schooling in the future. This is dependent on how they are year-to-year, all individualized to each child.


Quarantine homeschooling is a great opportunity for us to figure out what that could look like for us in the future.


And the best news about it? If it’s awful, it’s not permanent. We can either get through this year, or I can simply enroll them back into school. It’s an experiment! And it’s OK if it ends up not being the right fit for my kids long-term, or even short-term.


For more on how we have organized our homeschooling season, and how we’ve assimilated into it, see this post.


Why you don't have to homeschool.


Now, let’s get back to YOU. Do you have to homeschool your kids? Is it best for your kids?


Nope. Nope. Nope.


If I may be so bold to quote myself? LOL! 


In my article on resources, this is what I urged you to consider:


What are your family values?


What do your kids need?


What do you need?


Take some time to answer those, and then you can be better guided in what really matters and the “how” that will work best for you and your family.


When I took some time to answer those for myself last Spring, I knew that we’d be homeschooling this year. I haven’t had to waste as much time or mental energy deliberating; nor pouring over the endless resources on the internet. Because I know what comes first for us, what the kids need, and what I need.


A few encouraging words...


I think if we could lay aside the fear and simply sit in who we are as a family and what we need, then we’ll be better guided to make these choices. (When I say “we” here, I’m meaning me and you as a collective, and as individual families:)


And even then, remember: it’s not permanent.


You do not need to learn everything the Internet has to offer to figure out how to school your kids.


You have everything you need inside you to make the right call for your family. If it’s homeschooling, then I’m here for you. If it's distance or hybrid learning, I’m also here for you.


I’m just SO here for you. Hang in there and own that these are choices you CAN make; and you don’t have to do it alone.


Check out the other posts in the COVID School Series:
Your Complete Guide to HomeschoolOur Homeschooling Baselines and Routines


Click the images for complete lists of resources!



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