The 2020 School Year is the Hardest Yet
The path to the upcoming school year feels like it’s littered with landmines. Even the schools offering regular school days are unsure if it will last the entire school year. Our district isn’t hiding the fact that they may pull the plug at any point if COVID-19 cases increase. Some districts offer options for full-time school and distance learning. My district is still holding meetings to decide what options it will support. If you’re like me, you feel like all of the options are a stretch from what would be ideal. Ideally, COVID-19 wouldn’t be an issue, but here we are. Tough decisions are being made, even down to the last second. Here’s why the situation is so frustrating and how I’m navigating the 2020 school year conundrum.
Why The 2020 School Year is Scarier
When COVID-19 first hit, we all made insane adjustments. Work schedules, child care accommodations, patience, and more were thrown for a loop. However, our children were all safe behind devices learning. We were all granted a high degree of grace for what’s been an unwelcome adjustment.
It seems like it was easier when distance learning was the only option. The 2020 school year conundrum is that we actually have options amongst so much lingering uncertainty. Full school days, alternating days, distance learning, homeschooling. How can you feel confident in your choice when every option leaves much to be desired? Where’s the guarantee that our children have sufficient protection from an invisible threat? What are the emotional and academic implications of remote learning? We’re facing all of these questions before even diving into the socioeconomic inequities of remote learning.
This time it feels as though we must confidently step into a decision. We’re still pioneering what feels like a wild experiment involving all major aspects of life. I’m witnessing Facebook groups I partake in for entrepreneurial moms and homeschooling moms surge with topics surrounding time management, NYS homeschool procedures, and more. It certainly offers comfort knowing you’re not alone. However, it doesn’t lift the heavy burden of having to decide on lackluster options.
The Politics of the 2020 School Year
Politicians are insufferable beings. As sure as they never let a tragedy go to waste, masks have become a political issue. To a degree, sending your child back to school seems to also be a political statement. Aside from the parents that have to send children back due to work constraints, some feel that COVID-19 is overblown. Some parents are horrified at the idea of sending their children back. Then there are parents like myself, somewhere in the middle.
No matter your political stance, there are legitimate questions about what a school day with social distance measures looks and feels like for our children. It’s beyond politics at this point. It’s extremely personal and deserves to be treated as such.
How I’m Navigating the 2020 School Year
With the support of a few great Facebook groups, I’m making the choice that liberates us the most. My almost seven-year-old wasn’t engaging with the chaotic Zoom sessions. Those were just for storytime. An entire day would burn her out. My son is five-years-old and was homeschooled since Long Island Pre-K is fee-based. This along with supportive communities makes my decision to homeschool them both the most comfortable option.
The 2020 school year was the first year I had to finally focus on growing my business full time. For a while, I was stubborn about the fact that they must go back to school. I can’t put my finger on exactly what flipped my switch. Like everyone else, we hit a patch that felt desperate with social distancing and being home.
I’m a self-awareness facilitator and a huge believer in mindset and positive self-talk. Somewhere in the thick of frustration and bitterness (you’re allowed to feel bitter), I decided to become solution-oriented, rather than problem-burdened. Rather than focus on not having the year to dedicate to my business, I feel gratitude for being in the position where homeschooling is an option. I’m grateful that my children love learning and are enthusiastically helping plan interest-based lessons. (We’ll also be using The Good and the Beautiful for math and reading language arts). It will be a challenge. I mostly approach my days haphazardly. There will be leveling-up and the growing pains that come with it.
Grab the 2020 School Year With Faith
I have a well-established relationship with my faith in God. Perhaps that I now read his words my faith and confidence feel stronger. Whatever drives your faith, tap into it when making this decision. Listen to your intuition. Adjust your mindset so that rather than roadblocks, you see opportunities. Use self-awareness as a personalized compass to making the best decision for you and your family. Above anything, allow yourself forgiveness for any lack of certainty and reserve your right to change your mind as time passes.
How are you navigating the 2020 school year conundrum? Let me know what you’re struggling with and what you feel excited about in the comments.