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Strange times and rapid change bring about strange outcomes! Here is what I’ve learned from my circle of mom-friends…
My posts have been getting fewer and farther between lately. Back in November when I started this blog I had no idea that only a few months later we would be dealing with an entirely new set of circumstances.
The good news is that my children have had no trouble keeping up with their course-work, and are getting ahead academically instead of falling behind. A lot of students who are stuck trying to transition from brick-and-mortar schools into distance learning for the remainder of the school year have not been so fortunate. The Ron Paul Curriculum has been paramount in helping us reach our educational goals.
An Unprecedented and Rapid Acceptance of Homeschooling
It is difficult to predict the long term effects that the response to COVID-19 and the virus itself will have on our lives. One thing I can say for sure is that it has had a polarizing effect on parents’ views on homeschooling.
Many people have been forced into experiencing some version of homeschooling for the past few months whether it was something they would have tried willingly or something that they have been forced to participate in via circumstance. Some families have come to the conclusion that homeschooling will not work for them in the long term and other families have been surprised to find out how well homeschooling is working for them.
At first, everyone was overwhelmed. It took some time for the dust to settle. Now that people are finding their homeschooling groove, many of them are starting to reap the benefits of homeschooling. Others are starting to see the cracks in the brick-and-mortar school that their children were attending. Cracks that they were always too busy to notice before, or that they had convinced themselves were unavoidable.
Whatever the case, 40 percent of families are saying they are more likely to turn to homeschooling or virtual learning program once the coronavirus pandemic subsides. That’s a big attitude shift in such a short amount of time!
Disclaimer: I know that it is not only moms who homeschool and make decisions about education for their families. It just so happens that most of my close personal relationships are with other moms. That is why all of my examples are from moms. If you are a homeschool dad reading this: that’s awesome! There is plenty of room for you in this space and all are welcome.
As someone who already homeschools my children, I have been surprised to find that several of my mom-friends have been convinced by this experience to seriously consider keeping at least one of their kids home next school year.
A few of these friends were what I like to refer to as “homeschool curious.” They occasionally pitch the idea of homeschool and toss it around, but they never seem quite ready to take the plunge.
Then the schools closed and they were forced into the waters of homeschooling without a chance to doubt their ability to do it. And guess what? They found out that not only can they do it, but it is going very well! Sometimes the hardest part is taking that first, real step.
A Homeschool-Curious Mom’s Eureka Moment
I know a mom that has been considering the idea of homeschooling on and off for several years, but she always ends up deciding to keep her kids in public school. I was talking to her recently and she said that she has come to the conclusion that in our modern culture we all “do too much,” to use her words. She came to the realization that her kids like the slower pace and she does too.
She also pointed out that while she thinks it is admirable that the public schools provide opportunities for children, her children don’t actually need what it provides, because they get it at home. Her children have the kind of home environment where they have plenty of food, they get to play outside, they get to exercise, they get to do crafts, they get to go on “field trips,” they get to celebrate holidays, they have access to high quality educational resources, they get to spend time with friends and they can do it all with their family.
Now that things are starting to open back up again this same mom is thinking it might be a good compromise to let her kids go back to the extra-curricular activities that they enjoy, but to keep them home for school. One of her daughters is an athlete and she occasionally has to travel for competitions. Homeschooling will take a lot of stress off of the entire family.
A Traditional-Schooling Mom Sees Monumental Change In Daughter’s Work Ethic and Attitude
I have other friends that I don’t think had ever even entertained the idea of homeschooling. At least, if it had ever entered their minds, they never said anything about it. Homeschooling wasn’t even on their radar. In certain circles it just isn’t something that people do. You send your kids to pre-k when they are the right age, kindergarten, so on and so forth until they graduate, then they go off to college to live in the dorms and that’s just what you’re supposed to do.
The schools being closed has made some of them question all of that. I know one mom who was in this camp. She says that staying home, her daughter is happier than she has ever been. She’s motivated to finish her school work on her own first thing in the morning, because it means that she can spend the rest of the day on things that really interest her!
This girl has been seeing a therapist for behavior problems. She has had a difficult time regulating her negative emotions and often would lash out. Her mother says that since the schools closed her daughter has made a complete 180. She theorizes that her daughter was overwhelmed with school, homework and activities. It turns out that homeschool is a much better fit for her.
A Single Mom’s Burden is Lightened
I know another mom who has a son with learning disabilities. She’s constantly working with the school and his teachers to try to help him get what he needs.
It has been a lot of extra work for her with extra parent-teacher meetings, special plans and, of course, they are constantly telling her to do more work with him at home to help him keep up. Now that he has to do all of his school work at home, she’s found that it is much more manageable, not just for her, but for her son.
Maybe you have always been “homeschool curious” and the COVID-19 school closings have pushed you into taking the next step. Maybe homeschool was something that you would never have considered, but the COVID-19 school closings have caused you to think about it. Maybe someone you know is thinking about homeschooling.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about homeschooling, I would like to recommend taking a closer look at the Ron Paul Curriculum! Using it has been a great experience for my family.