I guess all us moms with school-aged kids have one sure thing in common these days; the fear of sending our children back to school or the dread of having to homeschool them again for only God knows how long.
Today, I’m writing to you from one concerned mom to another. It’s been a topic that has been lingering on my mind and quite often a hot discussion at our house.
I had mixed emotions about homeschooling from the very beginning but I tried my best to make it work and for some time, we did great! The kids had their own little corner of our home designated for “school time” where they would sit and learn from 9am-2pm daily. They had a schedule on a whiteboard with their classes and all was going pretty well, UNTIL, the kids started getting comfortable with the idea of being home and took online learning as an early summer vacation. As the days passed by, it became harder and harder to keep them on track and it was also during the time, that my workload increased which meant, I had little time to keep up with them without affecting my own deadlines. That’s when I realized and came to the decision that, in order to keep them on top of their school work, I had to decrease my workload and fully commit to being with them. I took the break as a sign from God, not just to be with my kids, but also for my own sanity. I needed to come up for air and that break gave it to me.
All that said.. do I want to homeschool again? HECK NO!
Do I think it’s the best thing for the kids right now? YES!
Did our children go back to school? YES… and while I know that it’s a bold decision that could very well backfire in my face, against all the odds, against everything we have been watching on the news, we decided in August to send our children back to school… Here is why!
While I agree 100% that virtual learning is the way to go with COVID numbers going up daily, I feel like we are placed in a very hard predicament. Our current school fully intended to open their doors on August 24th, with measures in place, such as temperature checks and, wearing masks at all times to keep the children and facility safe.
Unlike local schools in the area, we were not given the opportunity to vote whether we would prefer to send the children back or continue with virtual learning. In fact, private schools in our area were given the chance to choose whether to open or not, and pretty much all schools chose to open their doors. I know what you are thinking. Well, take them out of that school and into another, right? I agree! So, I did the research and called around local schools in our area. I even visited other Catholic Schools, in hopes of hearing something different that I wasn’t getting at our school. It was all pretty much the same information. In fact, most of the schools I visited had at a minimum 16-20 kids in the classroom. Which got me thinking…okay, so if all the Catholic Schools are opening their doors and the majority of schools have larger classes than where my kids are currently attending, aren’t I safer right where I am? Where the classes are smaller?
I thought, what if I left them there…made sure that they were well trained on the importance of wearing a mask, social distancing, mindful hand washing and NEVER oh please NEVER touch their face?!
Do I feel like I am playing with fire here? Yup…just a little and I don’t like it one bit, but if I’ve learned anything during 2020, it’s been that we are NEVER really in control. The minute we realize that and work with what God has given us, is the minute we free ourselves from the battle within. It’s the minute we let stress and anxiety go. This doesn’t mean you become complacent and stop striving for more. NO WAY! It means you continue to push forward, you pivot and diversify your life when needed (I have a great podcast about this exact topic that you should definitely check out called Living through COVID- how and why to pivot and diversify) and you always YES ALWAYS work with what you have. When you do this, and when you remember your blessing instead of what you don’t have, things always somehow work in your favor.
So with that, I ask that if you’re a mother that like me sent your kids to school OR even if you will be homeschooling again this year, please know that God will never give you what you cannot handle. Whatever decision you made for your family, know that it’s the best decision for you given the situation and the time. Don’t let anyone shame you, don’t let what other moms are doing make you feel a certain way about what you are doing. In case, no one has said it to you today, YOU ARE DOING GREAT, MOM!
I should add that now 2 weeks into the school year, I am feeling a little more at ease and confident in my children’s ability to navigate & protect themselves in school. I pray daily that God protects them and their school from harm’s way and yea, I’m old school and give them lots of Holy Water to drink before I send them out the door.
I hope this blog helps you or someone you know. These are crazy times and everyday will be different, but at the very least, we are still waking up to see each and every day. Knowing that will always keep you grateful.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Please be sure to share what your kids will be doing this school year and how you feel about it. Also, check out my new website. There are so many cool new things happening right now on Luwame.com and I’d love to get your feedback on them.