We’re homeschooling in 2020. Giant Spaghetti Monster help us, we’re diving in.
We’re homeschooling in 2020. t’s done. We made the leap. I am going to home school my second grader for the 20-21 school year. And yes, it’s mainly due to COVID. I have always had home school on my radar, but before the world fell to shit, it was mainly because of my son’s personal needs. However, add in a Motherfucking apocalypse and you get the straw that broke the camels back. Ready or not, home school here we come.
COVID-19 is the primary reason
Ok, to be honest, the plague we’re calling COVID-19 is the main driver here. But not for the reasons you might think. You see, as much as I am afraid of the virus, it’s not that fear keeping him at home. It’s the fact that I CAN keep him at home. I’m already a stay at home mom and I have the ability to homeschool, so I will. As much as I really want him in the classroom that space is needed so much more by families that don’t already have a caregiver at home 24/7. That and the fact that one less person in a teacher’s circle is one less point of exposure. The main reason we’re becoming COVID homeschoolers is for other people, not us.
Setting up a homeschool room? Check out these ideas from Rooms to Go!
Public school did him no favors to begin with
Turns out my fears of how he’d do in public school weren’t totally unfounded. While he did alright, his first year was not a walk in the park. COVID cut it short, but the 3/4 of a year he did experience were ‘meh’ at best. He got in fights, was bullied, and struggled with standard classroom behaviors. All things I expected, but overall I wasn’t all that impressed. It was nothing like his Montessori school he attended before. I’d say he even lost a little bit of ability in math and writing. Although I wasn’t ready to give up on public school, here we are. If COVID weren’t a thing he’d go back for second grade, but with an IEP.
Social skills and social interaction are not the same
Ah, the home school conundrum ‘How will he get socialized?!’. One thing I have learned about the road we walk with our son is that socializing with other kids does not necessarily mean developing appropriate social skills. He has a hard enough time handling his emotions as it is, so when we asked him to navigate the waters of OTHER kids’ emotions too… we ran into trouble. One too many calls from the principal later, and I was just about done with letting him try and figure it out on his own. We invested in Mightier and we’ll include it as emotional regulation/ social skills in our homeschool curriculum. As far as face time with other kids? IT’S A PANDEMIC. We’ll visit with our bubble friends when we can and call it good. Plus, he has a brother. So meh.
By homeschooling in 2020 I have a chance to make learning fun again
My son loves, LOVES, loves history. And he’s also really freakin’ smart. But he doesn’t do busy work well, he needs support with his handwriting, he likes to debate, and he can’t sit still. All of this was a non-issue in Montessori, so we never saw how difficult a traditional classroom setting would be for him. Turns out it’s REALLY hard. Keeping him home for one year (or longer) gives me a rare opportunity to help him bridge the gap. He won’t have to sit still, but we can work on it for 1 or 2 subjects. I can give him a chance to debate me on certain topics while also asking him to be quiet and listen during other lessons. We have a chance to work on the skills required to be a public school student instead of just expecting him to do it outright. He needs that. If I can make second grade enjoyable to him, while also helping him develop the skills he needs for a traditional classroom, then I consider that a huge win. And totally worth it.
He’ll get to see me in action during a crisis
Y’all, I don’t mean to brag or nothing, but I’m a person you want around when shit hits the fan. I have no idea why, but I’m good in these situations. The slow burn type issues like COVID are a little different, but in an emergency, I’m your girl. For example, when we thought our 4-year-old was chocking on a magnet I had him upside down hammering on his back while on the phone with 911 in about 20 seconds flat. (He was totally fine btw.)
So what does this have to do with home school? Well, these are not normal times. Shit is HARD, unsure, and completely insane. He can watch me learn the curriculum, teach him, and still manage all the things. Despite COVID. We all know that moms are basically superheroes, but this is my chance to show him just how truly badass I am. In real-time.
All the other ‘stuff’
In Montessori school my boys learn practical life skills such as washing their hands, cleaning up, and setting a table. While we’re homeschooling this year I am going to incorporate that philosophy into our days. Laundry, cleaning, paying bills, yard work, making the grocery list, etc. are all things I can make a part of ‘school’. And since my child likes to resist anything of this sort, making it a ‘subject’ gives it more weight and makes him less likely to fight me. That and knowing there’s an end to the lesson, homeschool practical life just might be the ticket we need to make it stick.
Homeschooling in 2020 isn’t the ‘right’ answer
I want to be very clear here. While I am going with homeschooling in 2020, I know full well that it is not the only viable solution to education in 2020. Heck, my other kid is still going to in-person school at Montessori! I’m homeschooling my elementary school kid because I CAN. Not everyone has that option. Home school is better for us because my kid didn’t do great in NORMAL school, never mind COVID school. We’re homeschooling to fill gaps that can only be filled appropriately at home for our son. And COVID. This does not mean that distance learning, hybrid options, or all in-person learning are wrong it just means that they’re not right for HIM this year. So no matter how your kids are schooling this year… I support you.
Whether or not we survive this experiment… debatable. If you’re curious about what curriculum we went with, check out Timberdoodle. Post to come on why and what we think!
What are you doing for school this year? Why? I’d love to know!