What Does Parenting Look Like Now?
Man, living in these pandemic times has certainly changed SO much of our parenting. We do not interact with other kids, so we have to come up with more family activities to keep the kids busy. We do not go places in public, so again, we have to come up with more activities and experiences to keep the kids busy AND engaged. We do not go to in-person school, because, well, pandemic.
While the nation is grappling with whether or not public schools will go back to in-person school, virtual school or some sort of hybrid. We are not worrying about what our kids will be doing in the fall. We have made the leap into homeschooling our kids. Now, worrying about me going back is a whole other ball of worry, but for now, we are focusing on providing our kids with a consistent and thoughtful school experience.
If you had asked me in pre-pandemic times if I would ever consider homeschool, I would have said “nope!” My kids get a great education in public school, they get socialization, they get new experiences. That’s not to say that they can’t get those things with homeschool, but we are fortunate to have public education that I personally love. I mean, I teach in public schools, I was raised by a public school teacher, I went to public schools, and I think I turned out pretty okay!
We Will Homeschool
Enter pandemic. Enter CDC guidelines, or recommendations, that include social distancing, wearing a mask, staying in the room and having teachers move-to name a few. And I instantly see socialization taking a hit, experience (at least positive ones) taking a hit, and honestly, I think education is going to take a hit because there are bound to be outbreaks that shut the schools down and send us right back to distance learning. These interruptions in learning impact education.
So, we have decided to become homeschoolers! Next year Marshall, grade one, and Adelaide, grade two, will be taught at home. It was not a decision we took lightly, and we did do some research before coming to this decision.
The hardest decision, aside from just deciding to pull them from public school, was what curriculum we would follow. To make that decision, I reached out to some friends that homeschool for their recommendations. I did internet searches myself. I checked out Cathy Duffy’s top 102 Homeschool Curriculum Reviews. I was looking for something that was all-in-one that I didn’t have to piece together from different sites, so that is what I searched for!
Factors for Choosing a Homeschool Program
The things that I found most important in selecting a curriculum were:
- Affordability. We have a limited income but we want to be able to provide our kids with a challenging and well-rounded curriculum.
- Recommendations. I wanted to hear from people I know, read reviews, check out Facebook, etc. to make sure we were getting into a curriculum most people liked. You can’t please everyone, but if the majority of reviews are positive, that is good enough for me!
- Well-Rounded. I did not want to have to piece-meal a curriculum together. Travis is the one that is teaching the kids because I will be teaching in public school — whether virtual or in-person. I wanted something easy to follow and implement.
- Challenging. I want to challenge my kids. They need to be doing more than just review. We are going to use this year to push them and individualize their education as much as possible. What are they interested in? What is their learning style? I wanted to be able to offer some choices and also be able to cover the necessary subjects.
After considering all of my criteria, we finally landed on Easy Peasy Homeschool. A former colleague recommended it. It is one of the top 102 rated curriculums on Cathy Duffy’s site and, after reviewing the curriculum myself, really liked how well rounded it is. The best part-it is FREE!
Homeschool Will Be A Breeze (*blank stares*)
Once I decided on the curriculum, I really dove into the different subjects. I had selected level one math for Marsh and level 2 for Adelaide. But after looking at it more closely, I thought they could already do most of the content, with only a few new skills sprinkled in. Which is how we ended up using Easy Peasy level one and two for summer math practice! The kids have plowed through the 180 lessons in just a few weeks and have really enjoyed it. And so have I! Doing one subject of this curriculum has sealed the decision to use it for the 2020-21 school year.
Will there be bumps in the road? Absolutely! Will we overcome them? Sure! There might be tears and lots of wine for us. There might be tantrums and tears for the kids. But there will also be proud moments and exiting light-bulb moments when they learn something new.
We are excited, and a bit scared to start this journey with our kids. But we are happy and confident that we have made the best decision for our family for this school year.
What have you decided for your family? No wrong answers! Everyone’s family is different and everyone is in a different situation than us. But, we would love to hear your thoughts on the upcoming school year.