Goodness, I remember being in disbelief when the schools abruptly closed for what was originally looking like 2 WHOLE MONTHS! Here we are more than 10 weeks later and while Ohio is reopening the end of social distancing does not look like it will be happening anytime soon.

I am grateful distance learning is over and looking forward to SUMMER FUN! The last day of school is technically Thursday May 28th but there are no more lessons planned. Instead the school is doing a reading challenge and dress up days that are optional. To say that distance learning was a challenge for us is an understatement, but there were some good moments in the midst of the struggle. We finished several read alouds and I found a love for doing character voices. The kids enjoyed it too. Their mémé offered to read one of the chapter books one day while I was doing work for the church, but in the end they decided that it wasn’t the same as when I do it. I am beyond flattered.

While struggling to find books that the kids hadn’t already read and that we owned (since the library is closed) I asked a friend if she wanted to do a book exchange. We met at the library because that just seemed like the natural choice (we are both library geeks) and I passed off “Wonder” to her

and got the book “Charlie and Frog” for us to read and so far it’s really good!

The kids also did a Lego challenge early on in quarantine before distance learning made it difficult to do fun activities. I hope to share a whole post on that sometime, but here are some of their creations.

We have some fun stuff planned in place of travel for the summer but I will hold off on that announcement for now. I am also going to hold off on finalizing what we will do about next school year. I’ve heard from various sources that schools are expected to have somewhat of a strategy in place by mid-July and so we should know then whether we will be homeschooling or going back to their public school.

I’m sure some of you have seen the graphic that went around Facebook.

Then I saw some rebuttals,  like this one.

 

While not all of what the blue graphic says is exactly what is recommended by the CDC, it’s pretty close. I have also read the Ohio draft of what the Department of Education is going to try to implement. These guidelines might be necessary or okay with others, but they are not okay with me. As I mentioned last week, BEFORE the CDC shared anything, I’ve already been planning for what would happen if we need to homeschool.

I try my best to stay informed and get my information directly from the President and Governors through press conferences. From what I understand, until we have a vaccine or unless the coronavirus cases dramatically drop or disappear, this is “our new normal” for a while. If masks, and shields, and keeping six feet apart are the expectations for churches, grocery stores, and everywhere else then why would we expect that in two months they’re going to be ready to let millions of children do otherwise? Although I know that each state and in some cases districts get to choose their own reopening plans (which I appreciate) I’m planning on those plans looking pretty close to what the CDC is recommending. If I’m wrong, that’s great! I want my kids in public school! I rave all the time about their school and their teachers. It’s why we moved here!  I had a teacher friend that posted this graphic.

I wish the teacher could wave a magic wand and make the school reopening less sterile and rigid, the same way I wish pastors could just reopen churches and let everybody hug and high five and reopen the children’s programs, but it’s not our current reality.

Regardless of any kind of politics I need to know that the educational benefits that my children would get would outweigh the potential emotional and mental health costs that come with the distance approach. The thing I feel like might be in our favor is that our county is not a hot spot for coronavirus. We’ve had cases and even deaths (that could be counted on one hand from what understand). Our city is not huge though and it is slightly more rural than a lot of areas. I know that those factors come into play with how different districts will proceed. J and I will continue to pray through this decision. I’m okay with kids eating schools in the classrooms and smaller class sizes. I am in favor of open windows and outdoor learning! We already don’t ride the bus, so I definitely don’t care what they choose to do about that. On the other hand, I am not okay with elementary students in masks, or no free play during recess, or no working on tactile projects and crafts together, or constant hand sanitizing. If you have known me and my delayed vax/cloth diaper/cosleeping/home-birth self for any length of time you know that I am not basing these decisions of a silly graphic (with typo mind you) circulating online. This is my crunchy momma side that has been there since my first pregnancy including when I chose probiotics over antibiotics even though I tested positive for GBS. Come at me. Just kidding, don’t come at me. I’m actually a nonconfrontational enneagram nine, but I do get passionate about my rights regarding my health and my children. I understand WHY these measures are in place, but if I had a choice for my kids I’d chose home in this scenarioio. If we do go that route I’d like to think that it frees up space in a time where that is really needed.

Enough about social distancing though! My next post will be an exciting surprise.