My husband and I have tossed around homeschooling for years, since well before we even conceived our first child. Ultimately, we decided to go with a regular school, primarily for the socialization. And to see how he would fare in a regular school. As a stay at home mom, it’s well within my abilities to homeschool, at least for a few years. But we really wanted him to be with his peers.
At first, things went swimmingly. He seemed to like his classmates and always came home saying how much he liked his teacher. He was always eager to go to school and would sometimes have his shoes on before anyone else was ready to go.
And then it started to break down. Not with him. He was always happy to go to school. But for us, his mom and dad. Our first year with regular school has not gone swimmingly, and it’s not even over yet.
1. Lock down #1
School had been in session for maybe a couple of months when, one afternoon while waiting to pick up our babies, we received calls and emails from the school saying they had been on lock down. What now? Apparently, some guy had jumped the fence and was wandering around campus. Luckily, someone saw and the principal was able to announce a lock down drill that scared the guy away. No harm was done, but, still, it was scary, especially since we weren’t told anything until after lock down had been lifted.
2. Lock down #2
As if one wasn’t enough, there was as second lock down. This was maybe a month later. My daughter and I were on our way to an award ceremony when I found our usual route to the school blocked by the police. We arrived with a few other parents in time to learn the school was on lock down due to police activity in the area. We were sent home, assured our children were safe. Later on I learned the police had tracked down a stolen car…that had been full of weapons. There was no connection made to the school, but to a house right near the school. Still, scary.
3. Fire days
So, it isn’t a big secret that California doesn’t just suffer from earthquakes (big ones are rare, by the way), but wildfires. We have fire season every single year. Some fires are worse than others. Last fall we had a number of fires due to high temperatures and dry winds (they’re called Santa Ana winds, though I hear they call them devil winds up north). There was a point where we were nearly surrounded on all sides by fires. The air was thick with smoke and ash. There was so much, they actually had to close all schools in the area.
4. Bee attack
Well, not exactly an attack. But definitely a swarm. No clue where they came from, either, because they hadn’t been there 5 minutes before. It was just before school let out. My daughter and I had been walking around, and then she wanted to sit in the car. We were in there for about 5 minutes. When we got out, I almost walked us right into a group of bees. They covered the fence, the air was thick with them, we feared they were going over into the Kindergarten yard. I had to walk into the street to be able to walk around the swarm just to be able to pick up my son from the other gate.
5. The coronavirus pandemic
Do I need to say more? I wish I had made the other choice and just homeschooled. Then the only difference to our days that I can think of would be no more outings, no more field trips. Instead, our lives have basically been turned upside down. Though I must give tons of credit to his teacher, who has been as active as possible with continuing to teach her students. Every week has been better than the last, but I can’t wait until my son can go back and hang out with his peers again. If ever.
So, yeah, fun year, and it’s only April. I’m not completely ready to just make the switch to homeschooling, but I’m always ready for it if this continues into the fall. Though, if it does, there won’t be a cure to cabin fever except a clear escape. I fear even chocolate may fail me. Or my teeth will fall out.
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