Focus Artesia Fall 2021 | The Switch: Homeschooling in a Pandemic

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The change, the transition, the struggle, the challenge…whatever you want to call it, we did it! We made the switch from public school to homeschool.

Last school year was not easy for anyone that I know. We all had new challenges in front of us that came along with even larger decisions that had to be made. With the dirt and grime of 2020, also came major growth for many of us. Whether it was forced growth or not, that is irrelevant, and we are big kids now, right parents?

Homeschooling my children was always in the back of my mind, but I never thought it would actually be a reality. Not because I did not think I was capable because we all are capable of it, but because I valued our community of Artesia Public Schools. When we took the plunge, (pun not intended for the relatable feeling of drowning we endured) we had to become creative parents who were also now teachers. How do we teach our kids to listen to us as teachers if we can barely do it as parents? You think outside the box, just like teachers do!

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Making our day look completely different than the regular public-school day was both powerful and a struggle. We tried to focus on taking school outside for the majority of the time. We started the math year off by adding rocks to dandelions, doing our phonics cards with the birds chiming in, and with a considerable amount of scavenger hunts to coincide with our lessons. Of course, we had our days (a lot of them) where we would sit at the table and do our work with less play. However, after that, when “school” was done we never stopped learning. I found myself constantly teaching, guiding, and demonstrating life skills. Homeschooling made me stop and think more often than before. I really put value in learning life skills and interest-led schooling. This is where I found out one of my daughters thrives in art.

Taking a child’s interest and running with it holds more value than driving a subject into their head that they could care less about at the time. Finding that balance between interests and school truly saved our first homeschool year, in addition to a lot of recess…and maybe some bribery. “We can paint our storyline today picture if we work our best,” for example.

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All jokes aside, my little girls grew tremendously. Academically, sure…but as little people, their minds were just able to wander and grow in the direction they desired. They were able to gain more confidence, problem solving skills, creative learning skills, and adapted to areas that had before been a struggle. Our relationships grew stronger, and I call that an “A+” year for us!

Since making the switch, I am now letting my kids become the artists of our lessons, learning that their big minds may be the best teacher in this whole scheme of things. Kids are not only resilient; they are powerful, mighty, and filled with dreams of everything they want to be…let’s enable them to become the best versions of themselves. No matter what road they take to get there, we, as parents, can always drive the car for them.

Beep Beep: Here comes school year 2021-2022!

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Article written by Devon Carlo and originally published in Focus on Artesia 2021 Fall edition.
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