Opting-Out and Opting-In

When I heard the rumblings from other parents across the U.S. about how challenging online learning has been for them and their kids, I decided to give myself a “pass”. I’m super grateful for what our teachers/schools are trying to do, but I just knew it wasn’t going to work for my kids. Here’s the email I sent to our principal and my son’s teacher:

I use the word “homeschool” loosely because, as many have pointed out, this is NOT “homeschooling” in the traditional sense; this is “crisis schooling”. There is a big difference.

I haven’t submitted a scope and sequence for the year.

I haven’t mapped out curriculum.

I, like many of you, am just winging it everyday.

Some days are great. We have had some really wonderful moments as a result of the stay-at-home order. (I’ve enjoyed reflecting on these moments with my kids during our morning art times using this awesome and FREE Coronavirus Time Capsule from Jessica Turner at The Mom Creative. Check it out!)

We made a treehouse.

We’ve planted seeds and expanded our garden.

My son’s reading is taking off!

We started the Love Pandemic Project and, as a result, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my kids practicing gratitude for what we have and developing empathy for others.

But I have to be honest. Some days are not-so-great.

Some days the laundry and dishes get piled up and I go a little crazy.

Some days I sit in the car in our driveway or a few blocks from our house and realize the gas tank is on “E” and so am I.

I yell and loose my sh&* a LOT more often than I’d like to admit publicly.

Some videos don’t ever get posted because it would be downright embarrassing!

Some days, our schedule looks far less like the one I initially posted and far more like this (from somewhere on social media, not sure where!):

I came across this well-written article today and wanted to share, because the author (Denisha Jones, Ph.D., J.D.) raises such excellent points. Some key questions she asks, are:

  • Is remote schooling causing additional stress on your child and your family?
  • Is your child expected to be on a computer for two or more hours a day?
  • Are you unable to stay on top of your work from home responsibilities and facilitate remote schooling?
  • Does remote schooling bring your child and your family joy?

Jones goes on to write, “COVID-19 has interrupted schooling, but education does not require a school building and should not be limited to an academic curriculum. Children should seize this opportunity to engage in activities that bring them joy and foster deep engagement.”

So, here’s my question (for myself and for all of us): Where do you need to “op- out” and where do you need to “opt-in”? I, for one, am taking this time of social distancing to re-evaluate a lot of things in my life. As an extrovert and Enneagram Type 2, this time has been super hard for me in some ways. I’ve realized so much of my identity is wrapped up in other people, my image, how I serve and derive meaning from the things I DO… (just to name a few!) Of course, not all of this is a bad thing. However, I am taking time to carefully consider the types of activities to which I will commit, both now and when all of this is over. There are definitely a number of things in which I will be opting out as well as some cool opportunities in which I am considering opting-in. (I’m giving Gather Round Homeschool a try and considering it for next year. Anyone want to join? Download free sample here.)

May we be released to opt-in to the things that bring life and opt-out of the things that drain us! And may we trust that all will be well.

Published by Nourishing Foundations

Hi! I’m Jen. I’m a mom, teacher and nutrition enthusiast, ever seeking out ways to help my family eat healthy on a budget.

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