Our Homeschool Journey, Part 2
If you missed Part 1 of our Homeschool Journey, you can read it here!
Oh, 2020. What a year you've been. If there's one thing we can agree on - it's that, am I right?
March 15, 2020.
I think I'll remember that date just as much as I remember all the other monumental days of our lives. This was the day I received an e-mail from our son's school, that Spring Break had officially been extended for at least another 5 school days, due to the Coronavirus. Things around the world had gotten serious... fast. The virus was spreading far and wide, all over the world. Nobody knew enough about it just yet. Except that it was taking lives, spreading faster than anyone had anticipated, and the symptom lists grew by the hour. It had finally reached Idaho, which was one of the very last states to receive a positive case. By April 25, 2020, our Governor had placed Idaho on a stay-at-home order. You can read more about how Idaho has been impacted by COVID-19 here.
Jason's school did the best they could, as all schools did I'm sure. I have teacher's in my family and friend circle. My mom teaches at the highschool level, and my twin brother's long time girlfriend teaches at the highschool level as well. I know this has been an extremely difficult transitional period for teachers, parents, and students alike. I think it's important that we all remember this. Grace.
As the schools e-mails continued to roll in each week, extending the "week off" week after week, our school set up a drive-thru packet pick up every Monday and Tuesday. We would drive to the school where we were told to head to the parking lot, stay in our vehicles, and roll down our passenger side windows. A teacher would come to our window, with a mask on, and we would give them our child's grade. They would then pick a packet from the designated grade level box, hand it to us, and off we would go. We did not have to turn the packet in, it was not graded, and nothing was "new" work - it was all review. I can confidently say that from March to May, my 2nd grader learned nothing new. Nada. Zero. Zilch. (From his school).
Again, let me reiterate, the school did the best they could, with the time and resources they were given. This is in no way to bash our public school system, our teachers, or our school. This is just fact.
Enter - homeschool. I had already been homeschooling Brooke for almost the entire school year. I had learned much, much more in those months about homeschooling. Of course, we were working with letters, numbers, shapes and colors, here. It wasn't rocket science. However, I did learn how my daughter learns, what worked and what didn't. I learned that there were actual styles of homeschooling, co-ops you could join, additional resources, and books. Oh, the books! I love to read, and I was elated to find so many wonderful, valuable books about home educating!
So, with a lot of grace and little to prepare, I supplemented a few things here and there for Jason, in addition to the school given packets. We wrapped up his 2nd grade here hastily and focused on our health, our family, and adjusting to the world as we knew it.
We took the summer off and in the beginning of August, I had that pull again. The voice that wouldn't leave me alone. The tug on my heart. I sat my husband down, and before I could say anything he said, "I know, I support you. I'm on board."
I pulled the trigger. We un-enrolled our son from his school as soon as the office opened. I wrote a formal letter unenrolling him, and as an extra precaution, e-mailed our school's principal and secretary, too. It's important to note that every state has specific Homeschool laws. If you are interested in learning more about what laws are in your state, a good place to start is here. In Idaho, we have true freedom through and through, and we are blessed to have the opportunity to teach our children freely, with whichever curriculum we choose, and at whatever pace we choose to do it in.
Our first day of Homeschool starts on August 24, and I'll be sharing more as we go on! I am so excited to start this journey with our son as well as our daughter this year. Stay tuned!