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Anyone else planning on going back to homeschooling next year because of Covid19?


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I thought my homeschool days were behind me. After homeschooling for around 16 years or so, all the kids were in public school, and things were going (over all) well. I won't go into the reasons I stopped homeschooling (number 1 reason is that I got burned out, but there were other factors), but let's just say that I never thought I would do it again, unless maybe one of my kids had a situation crop up that required it, but I didn't think that was likely. Lol, thanks Covid-19! Ugh!! (I'm logging in on my phone so I can't see my sig but I'm guessing it's woefully out of date. Kids still at home are 17, 11 & 7, so Senior, 6th grade and 2nd, which means 3 different schools because middle school is 5th-8th here - don't get me started!) Very long story short, "remote learning" was not fun. Each child's experience was different, but none were awesome. Dh and I have been following this dang virus since late January - in fact, right around the time the Covid-19 thread started. I feel like I know more than the average person about all of this, and our family has been rather cautious. At this point, I can't fathom a scenario that includes my dh and I being comfortable sending our kids back to school. I also can't stomach the possibility of doing remote learning again, especially with my youngest, who needed the most supervision, and my main goal was to get through the required materials without swearing (out loud) in front of her!! I have already written to the superintendent, who has actually been pretty awesome throughout, and she even took the time to reply. My email was long, and included some suggestions, one of which was to consider a modified remote learning/homeschooling hybrid, where families would have access to the curriculum and resources the school provides, but the flexibility to go at our own pace and substitute materials as we see fit, and to report less frequently. Under remote learning, we had to submit work every week, which was really annoying, especially since our internet was stretched thin with all of us working and schooling at the same time. My suggestion was to allow us to report monthly, if not just at the end of the year. My reason for proposing this was that I hope to transition my kids back to school once I feel it is safe to do so, and I want them to be at the same level academically. But I find myself in a state of denial about what next year will be like. I should mention that I started a part-time job last fall, and juggling that (thankfully I can work from home) with the kids at home has been challenging. My youngest is a handful and has taken full advantage of the time that I'm working. Helping herself to ice cream at random times or bringing toads in the house, etc.! She is strong willed and independent and I don't know how I'm going to handle homeschooling her!! 

I don't even know what I'm hoping to hear from you all, other than maybe support for the crazy times we're in, and what you think next school year might be like for you. I sold or gave away almost all of my curriculum. I feel like I should be preparing now, but everything is so up in the air, and I feel like I'm using most of my energy to just get through each day. And to keep my newly expanded garden growing because of likely food shortages. Gah! It's a lot to process! Help? 

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My older son will be in duel enrollment (basically free community college classes for high schoolers).  
 

My younger son, per the terms of our settlement with the district is entitled to a 1-1 specially trained aide.  He will be in 6th grade.  We will keep him enrolled for at least band (if that happens) but I’m not sure.  He’s supposed to be in 6th grade but is ahead in some areas and lags behind in others.  Basically, we will use the district the the degree that we can but supplement at home.  That’s what we had to do during Covid.  We just took what we could from the zoom based lessons and left the rest.  

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Yes. Very similar. I will have a Senior next year. He is very social and if there’s any chance of things like proms and homecomings and irl graduation he’ll want to have school for those. But online school as dictated from the school didn’t work at all well here. 

 

Decision not yet made.

Edited by Pen
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My youngest graduated high school this month!!(My oldest graduated college, also!! Corona Virus did save me a fortune in Graduation parties 😉  We homeschooled all the kids all the way... I now teach Music in a Catholic School and we have had many frustrating meetings on how to open school in August!! If I still had school age kids in school, I'd take them home. It's not anyones fault because this whole thing is very complicated...but it's going to be a nightmare. Online schooling is challenging when you're educating kids who aren't used to it, but trying to keep 5  year olds in masks all day seems impossible! Not to mention that some of my classes have 38-40 kids in them!!!!!! Social distancing, masks, flex schedules...my head is spinning!!

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No.

We homeschooled until high school. We loved (almost) every minute of it and I’m so grateful we had the opportunity, but DS has thrived at his public high school and there is no way I want to deprive him of his senior year. I realize the decision won’t be mine to make, and I am devastated—truly, heartbroken for him—that he might have to spend it at home. 😞 

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I'm thinking about it. The biggest pluses for ds15 at high school were the social aspect and extracurriculars. All his classes were fairly easy for him, despite being at a gifted school, and he's super self-motivated (ie easy to homeschool).

The plans for next year look like they would eliminate the extracurriculars and minimize the social. Is it still worth it?

I survived high school because of extracurriculars (and going abroad for a year - I'm mourning the possible travel ban to Europe right now because that was such a big part of high school for me). I am working on imagining high school without those things for ds15.

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I guess I don't know how to quote. I rarely post so I haven't learned how to do that! 

 

Anyway, @Pen and @MEmamaare in a similar situation as me with my oldest. I homeschooled until 8th, but he's an extrovert and really needed more social interaction (among other things). Public school has been a great fit for him and if the school reopened at all, he is the one child I would consider sending. He doesn't care much about dances but would miss the day to day social stuff and the overall Senior year experience. 

8 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

We just took what we could from the zoom based lessons and left the rest.  

Oh look, that worked! Excuse me while I figure this out, lol. The above quote is what I'm hoping for, along with access to the online resources. 

@Arctic Mama you mentioned just some of the reasons I don't want to send me kids back. They haven't decided what school will be like yet, but I imagine it will be similar to what you described. It sounds like a nightmare!!

@PerfectFifth congrats on your grads! It's a tough time to graduate too. And yes, wearing masks all day is just rough all around.

Like I said, they will most likely be home, but I'm struggling to wrap my brain around how that's going to work. 

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My senior will go to school or do remote whatever they do because I want her to get a NY state diploma and she’s so close. She homeschooled until 8th grade. (And shes in a vo tech program that she loves).

My little ones, I dunno. If school is remote they will homeschool IF my mom will agree to keep them for me during the day. I’m a teacher and will probably be in the building full time. Doing remote or part time remote for K & 2nd would be much harder than just homeschooling. I haven’t registered my K kid yet- waiting to see what NY decides. He doesn’t have to start this year anyways but academically, he’s ready.

Add me to the “never planned to homeschool again” list of former homeschoolers, soon to be homeschooling again it seems.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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My highschooler -- no.  He did okay with online.  

My daughter -- we might just opt out of some online things again.  She might continue to do homeschool math so she can do math on paper and with a coherent curriculum (unlike what her online was like for math -- maybe it will be better next year, I think it's possible).  

My son -- definitely doing homeschool math.  Definitely doing homeschool spelling.  Maybe adding Saxon Grammar and Writing.  I hope his online works out well but if it's something where he is just completing work on a computer screen (as opposed to interacting with a teacher or classmates etc) I am sure they will work with me (as they did this year).  

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I thought that 2019-20 would be my last year of homeschooling after 16 years, but it looks like I'll be continuing homeschooling my youngest as he starts high school. I really hope that homeschool sports will happen, or it'll be a rough year. Homeschool hockey, soccer and basketball are his favourite things. The academics I can do; the team sports are another thing. We may have to be creative and find other physical activities, though. Homeschool moms are great at thinking outside the box, aren't we? 😉

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I don’t want to, but it’s getting to the point that we are considering it.  My problem is that I am trying to get some solid answers about a few things and no one seems to be able to answer my questions.  Part of it is summer break and people are just not in office full time.  We are right now, going back in August to full time school, but they have all sorts of contingencies if COVID gets started again.  one of those contingencies is a two day a week schedule.   I’m just trying to figure out if a two day a week class schedule (rotating kids half time) means they only go to school half time or if they will have full time work assigned.  That seems to be too big of a question right now for people to answer.  I did find that learning was supposed to happen 4 days a week per the district last year, but our charter school only did three.  I have serious questions about the principle's ability to run the school which has been going on for a year before all this anyway.  
 

I feel like they did fairly well considering with e-learning, but a three day a week school schedule is not full time school.  I decided to homeschool math and ignore their khan academy nonsense for math with my 6th grader.  After three years of being behind grade level math, in three months I have caught her up.  Common core math is a joke.  

Unfortunately, if i remove my daughter from this school(which is better than anything else out there for various reasons), there's a decent chwnce she wont get back in.  I'm less concerned for education since she's in 7th grade.

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We did. I withdrew our girls in February when they had active cases in our district but didn’t shut down the schools.

Ds is still in a virtual charter but if they mandate in person meetings like they are threatening to in a recent survey, I will likely pull him. 
 

 

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It's on the table.  right now - he's enrolled to start in the fall at a school for nuero-diverse that is basically a one-on-one.  He is signed up for three classes.  We'll see what happens.

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Last year, DS 15 was in private school. DS 13 was homeschooled. DD 10 went half-time to private school and half-time homeschool. DS 8 was in public school.

We are looking at the three youngest staying home entirely this year, except for a small co-op. We expect intermittent closures and distance learning for DD 10's school and she has no interest in that. She'd rather be entirely homeschooled. DS 8 has profound special needs and is medically complex with an immune deficiency. Aside from the risk of serious illness for him (which is a major consideration), it would be impossible to social distance given his academic and medical needs in school. He normally has a 1:1 aide, needs assistance with diapering, tube feeding, hand-over-hand in the classroom, etc. 

DS15 is adamantly opposed to being homeschooled. He's in a small private school so that helps mitigate some of the risk. 

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I'm down to an incoming freshman this fall with two of his older siblings in college (freshman and senior)  He actually is my only child to attend middle school at the charter school all the older kids attended for high school.  He and I homeschooling alone are not a good fit.  It was painful which is why he went to middle school.  He is super social and loved school and did very well.  We are sad about the possibility of ending up at home again because this has been super hard on him.  He maintained his grades but all the joy was gone.  Next year for high school he only has four classes  English for 1.5 hours,  Algebra for two hours, Biology for an hour and an elective which is choir.  Very different from my older kids schedule at the same school.  Not sure what they are thinking as they haven't announced what fall will look like yet.  

I will homeschool if we feel the schedule isn't workable and all the social pieces are gone and they continue with their incredibly strict attendance policy which I feel leads to kids being exposed to way too many illnesses.  We are just waiting to see how it looks before we make any decisions.  This particular school/program has worked really well for his older sisters and he's been excited to attend.

 

Kimberly

Mom of 5

25, 22, 21, 18 and 14

 

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21 hours ago, bethben said:

I don’t want to, but it’s getting to the point that we are considering it.  My problem is that I am trying to get some solid answers about a few things and no one seems to be able to answer my questions.  Part of it is summer break and people are just not in office full time.  We are right now, going back in August to full time school, but they have all sorts of contingencies if COVID gets started again.  one of those contingencies is a two day a week schedule.   I’m just trying to figure out if a two day a week class schedule (rotating kids half time) means they only go to school half time or if they will have full time work assigned.  That seems to be too big of a question right now for people to answer.  I did find that learning was supposed to happen 4 days a week per the district last year, but our charter school only did three.  I have serious questions about the principle's ability to run the school which has been going on for a year before all this anyway.  
 

I feel like they did fairly well considering with e-learning, but a three day a week school schedule is not full time school.  I decided to homeschool math and ignore their khan academy nonsense for math with my 6th grader.  After three years of being behind grade level math, in three months I have caught her up.  Common core math is a joke.  

Unfortunately, if i remove my daughter from this school(which is better than anything else out there for various reasons), there's a decent chwnce she wont get back in.  I'm less concerned for education since she's in 7th grade.

Ds15 is in a similar situation since he goes to a gifted school. He tested in for 9th, but he'd have to apply as an individual to get back in for 11th afterwards. OTOH, with all the disruption thee was last year (they missed more than two weeks in fall due to a strike) he didn't really end up with a very strong attachment to his school.

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On 6/24/2020 at 11:43 PM, Happy Camper said:

 I have already written to the superintendent, who has actually been pretty awesome throughout, and she even took the time to reply. My email was long, and included some suggestions, one of which was to consider a modified remote learning/homeschooling hybrid, where families would have access to the curriculum and resources the school provides, but the flexibility to go at our own pace and substitute materials as we see fit, and to report less frequently.

This is such a great idea! What was her response, if you don't mind me asking? Mine are all hs'ed, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I worked in a ps before kids and my dad used to be a principal and several of my friends are teachers, so I still definitely have an interest in how the ps are handling this. 

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I'm doing the opposite--going back to school, sort of! Mine are all grown, with the last one finishing the undergrad this next spring. BUT, we're starting a 2-day-a-week enrichment program for hsers! I head off to the interviews for families in 5 minutes. Frankly, I'm terrified! We hsed all the way through, starting dual enrollment at 14-15 with all of them.  I've been begged for YEARS to start something like our LEAD group. It's being MASSIVE work!

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Well we use a hybrid so a little different but I am doing more schooling of my 8th grader at home than I had planned.  She is going only 1 day a week forS T. E. A. M.

So far the only classes they have canceled are the PE and Archery.  They say their just isn't room if they have to be indoors.  Plus masks with PE is probably not great.  They are going forward with music classes moving them into the gym.  Orchestra and Marimba seem fine. Band and choir I'm not sure how that will work with masks.  

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1 hour ago, EmilyGF said:

Ds15 is in a similar situation since he goes to a gifted school. He tested in for 9th, but he'd have to apply as an individual to get back in for 11th afterwards. OTOH, with all the disruption thee was last year (they missed more than two weeks in fall due to a strike) he didn't really end up with a very strong attachment to his school.

We had MAJOR disruption this year for our school.  They were building a new building which didn't get finished until 1 month after school was supposed to start.  Then, we had a bunch of early snow that used up all the snow days for the year by November.  The school got permission to start doing e-learning to try and make up snow days.  E-learning consisted of 30 minutes of work and somehow could be counted as a full day.   Then, influenza A and B decided to wreck havoc on the school to the point that easily 50%-70% of the students were out with the flu.  They closed the school for a few days to disinfect.  Then Covid hit.  It was a HORRIBLE learning year.

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We will be homeschooling, but ... we always do.  😊

I am a bit relieved about it, though, and glad we have our groove already.  

11th and 4th graders here.  And one out in the world, with a degree already.

 

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On 6/25/2020 at 12:04 AM, Arctic Mama said:

Well I homeschool most of my kids, but if they try to do a partial week schedule with my special needs little guys I’m going to lose it and yank them.  I physically cannot drop two people off to their homeschool extension program, teach a solid four or five hours of the remaining time with my two middle children, and provide developmentally appropriate and modified preschool and kinder programs to the IEP kids.  It’s too much, hence why I gave up and tossed two of them in public school for a few years to begin with. We cannot juggle the remote learning and in person learning with alternating days, WITH an alternating day special needs preschool therapy program already, AND AN OPPOSITE ALTERNATING DAY SCHEDULE FOR THE BIGS.  Better to just manage that nonsense entirely on my own than have the school require me to do things their way.  

What’s worse, their teachers WANT to do a normal schedule and load precisely because this is so difficult for this demographic.  But the district hasn’t decided yet.  So I may be back to six kids homeschooling this year whether I want it or can handle it or not.  Oh, with health issues and a high risk super drama pregnancy going on, too.

 

There aren’t enough expletive substitutes to adequately describe my feelings on this situation, but use your imagination. And I LOVE home educating.  But I am one person and have limits to what I can do fairly and well.

Hugs! I'd say have a margarita just from the stress of thinking about it - but pregnancy. Chocolate? I absolutely think that the very first ones to be going back,and full time, are the special needs kids. Get those kids in the classroom (or wherever parents want them), in "pods". I mean, my understanding is that most special needs classrooms are smaller by design anyway, so they are the safest in some ways. And if they are normally a bigger group but with more adults than a typical class, you'd think they could find a way to split them up, using the rest of the building, into smaller groups with the same adult/child ratio. 

Also, these are the kids that can LEAST handle a hybrid program of school some days but not others, right? I'd think they need the consistency of same schedule every day more than anyone! 

Prioritize them to be in class. Then prioritize having childcare/school available for K-4th or whatever, youngest get higher priority for daycare needs, and because they need more in person instruction and older ones can better navigate for an hour on their own, in their room while mom or dad works from home. 

Older ones, sadly, get the hybrid model - with an option to distance 100 percent if they want. Hybrid could be splitting days, or taking some classes at home some at school, with labs taught in "intensives" say one day a month for a few hours of lab experiments or something, like that homeschool company used to do. 

IDEALLY this would be using an outside, already developed curriculum so teachers, instead of trying to spend all their time creating content can focus on tutoring via small group skype or zoom sessions, that would be optional. 

(actually, Ideally, parents could choose from a handful of curriculum choices and do it themselves, but still get public school credit...but that's not going to happen, lol But there is no reason Saxon, Singapore, Horizons, etc couldn't be choices available, they have been around forever for math, and parents would have the actual teachers guide, etc rather than struggling to help kids with no actual textbook, no answer key, nothing. )

On 6/25/2020 at 12:14 AM, PerfectFifth said:

My youngest graduated high school this month!!(My oldest graduated college, also!! Corona Virus did save me a fortune in Graduation parties 😉  We homeschooled all the kids all the way... I now teach Music in a Catholic School and we have had many frustrating meetings on how to open school in August!! If I still had school age kids in school, I'd take them home. It's not anyones fault because this whole thing is very complicated...but it's going to be a nightmare. Online schooling is challenging when you're educating kids who aren't used to it, but trying to keep 5  year olds in masks all day seems impossible! Not to mention that some of my classes have 38-40 kids in them!!!!!! Social distancing, masks, flex schedules...my head is spinning!!

Ok, this is the second time today I've seen someone mention a private school with 37 kids per class! That seems SO crowded to me - and people PAY for that large of a class size? Around here, private school is VERY expensive, yes, even Catholic school is expensive, and part of what you pay for is small class size. 

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7 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

This is such a great idea! What was her response, if you don't mind me asking? Mine are all hs'ed, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I worked in a ps before kids and my dad used to be a principal and several of my friends are teachers, so I still definitely have an interest in how the ps are handling this. 

Why, thank you. I thought it was a good idea myself! It took some time (I did tell her that she deserved a break so wasn't expecting a response anytime soon) but she did respond to me. She said the party line "we don't know yet what school will look like in the fall" followed by something like "if you choose to homeschool, we will do our best to partner with you and share resources" or something like that. I had mentioned in my email that by partnering with families like that, they would be able to retain funding by still being able to count those kids as students. I'm hopeful things will work out. 

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On 6/24/2020 at 10:43 PM, Happy Camper said:

I don't even know what I'm hoping to hear from you all, other than maybe support for the crazy times we're in, and what you think next school year might be like for you. I sold or gave away almost all of my curriculum. I feel like I should be preparing now, but everything is so up in the air, and I feel like I'm using most of my energy to just get through each day. And to keep my newly expanded garden growing because of likely food shortages. Gah! It's a lot to process! Help? 

We are doing our first year of homeschool because of COVID. I feel like no matter what the schools come up with this year will be really rocky due to the newness of everything and spikes in the virus. I want full control of the lessons and material. I used to teach so this wasn’t an insane move for me. 😂Since you have many years of homeschooling under your belt but have also gone through burn out, I would suggest choosing the option that you can most consistently succeed at next year after reflecting awhile. This may be different for each child.  For instance, your senior may want to do online public school to stay connected and graduate from that school. It may be manageable to have one teen use the online option, especially since the school will have a better plan (or should) as opposed to the sudden onset of distance learning we went through. You can make very streamlined curriculum selections and homeschool your daughter at night and on weekends (have dad take over a class or two).  Same for the middle schooler. It will be a very relaxed year while you are working. Don’t worry about them getting off track—any child who has a parent working with them at home will be making progress. Many kids won’t have that and will be significantly behind.  It is good that you got rid of your old curriculum because now you can get something that is perhaps completely different and super easy to use. Hang in there—after this rocky year it will probably be settled enough to go back. 

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3 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Ok, this is the second time today I've seen someone mention a private school with 37 kids per class! That seems SO crowded to me - and people PAY for that large of a class size? Around here, private school is VERY expensive, yes, even Catholic school is expensive, and part of what you pay for is small class size. 

The school I work for has fought to keep tuition as minimal as possible. Many of our families are low and low middle income. Part of how they've chosen to do that is some of our grades have larger class size..Our other problem is the school was built in the 50s for 1st-8th grade two of each grade. Now we have TK-8 with the same number of classrooms..hence the reason we have had to have single classes for 3-6th grade. That is changing next year but only for 3rd and 6th grades. 4th and 5th will still have 38ish each. I know!! It's crazy. The rest of the grades have 17-21. When I have to teach those single grades I have to take big calming breaths LOL

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