Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Hey, parents! How are you holding up??
With schools scrambling to formulate and convey their plans to reopen, many parents find themselves faced with the mixed blessing dilemma of choice.
Do you send your kids to school in masks and small group capsules, with modified schedules, and stressed out teachers, everything unknown and uncertain as to protocols and risks?
Do you opt for the zoom-schooling, distance learning improv that was sampled last year?
Or do you take education into your own hands and homes, creating a system designed to meet your own children’s needs, but relying heavily on parental responsibility and attention?
Once again, we find ourselves in uncharted territory- we don’t know what the needs and systems will be next week, next month, or for the duration of the school year.
But decisions need to be made- and fast.
Choosing between homeschooling and crowd-schooling is usually further complicated by the fact that institutional schools often look askance at homeschoolers, which can make it difficult or unpleasant to stream back in if you ever want to. (One day I’ll write up a list of some of the misinformed things people say about and to them.)
But under these circumstances, I imagine most schools would probably understand if you wanted to start the year homeschooling, and then choose to re-join at a later time.
As many of you know, our family has been homeschooling for about 8 years, and we’ve seen kids through brick and mortar schools too. We love homeschooling. I know it’s not for everyone, but I believe that many more families would benefit from it if they knew more about it and were open to trying. If you were on the fence, and/ or you are concerned about the instability of what is happening this fall, now might be your chance to experiment with home education.
Every year around this time, I get calls from parents who have questions about homeschooling. I began doing consulting work for families, lecturing, and speaking on the topic. Ultimately, I put together a mini course including the most common questions, concerns, and conversations I have with prospective homeschooling families. Questions about curriculum, scheduling, juggling multiple kids and responsibilities, work, socializing, and requirements.
Gifting your kids with the chance to educate from home in a loving, customized, values-driven way is not as hard as it sounds, and might really end up being the best decision you can make for your family. (Our only regret is that we didn’t start sooner!) It opened up whole new possibilities of enrichment, travel, experiences, volunteering, creativity, and cultivating relationships. And since we had been sending to private Yeshiva schools, it changed our financial reality as well; allowing us to invest in our family in ways that were more tailored to their needs and interests. All in all, it’s made our family stronger, wiser, happier, more spiritual, and more confident.
If you’ve been considering doing this, and you’d like to learn more about it, take a look at this compact, comprehensive, self-paced overview and guide for prospective homeschooling families.