I’m sending my kids back to school. Am I selfish and would rather my kids die and/or spread a deadly virus than deal with them myself? No. I am just as terrified as anyone could be. I have weighed my options, looked at my past experiences, and made a decision based on what I, as the mother of my own unique children, believe to be best. Every child and every family is different.
I have one child with unique needs. I pulled him out of school in first grade to better meet those needs, or so I thought. I failed him miserably as a homeschool mom for two years. He eventually reentered the system, when I realized I simply did not have the ability to be a productive homeschool mom. We tried virtual homeschooling, our own curriculum, unschooling, all of it. I failed him time and time again in his education in that two years. This doesn’t mean homeschool or virtual schooling is a failure, this means I as a mom fail at it. It took the public-school system six months to teach my son what I couldn’t in two years: how to read and write. He was set up with a very specialized IEP to meet his needs. I just had my first big IEP meeting this past week and let me tell you, he is getting so much more than one person could ever give him. I am, after all, only one person. My son is getting help in not only the academic areas he needs but also in social and mental areas. He will be entering the talented theater program, which I feel in my heart will be the boost my loner child needs to make his confidence soar.
My second child is easy. He is as normal as they come. He succeeds at all he tries and is on a path to a pretty lax school career. I do not want to risk throwing him off the path he’s been on by exposing him to my lack luster and questionable homeschool parenting. His passion for school is so alive and vivid, the thought of taking that from him would break me. I myself struggle with my own mental illnesses, so any grace I can give myself, I need to give.
Do I worry about covid? Absolutely. My husband and I went back and forth on the what-ifs and the risks. We live here on the Northshore away from our families. We do not travel often and my kids are almost never in contact with people at higher risks such as the elderly or immune compromised. Knowing my kids will be going to school then coming straight home to us was a big factor in sending them back. I know every parent will have their own reasoning for what path they choose. Since each family is unique in its needs, social life, and dynamic, we have to trust that we’re all just doing the best we can in a time of uncertainty. I won’t judge you virtual school mom, I wish you the best and hope your child blossoms just as mine will in public school. We’re all in this together doing the best we can.