School Opening?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

As summer marches on, many parents are looking forward to the school year starting again and their kids going off to school. While we all love our children, having them around 24/7 can be a bit nerve wracking to say the least, especially when we’re trying to work from home.

But are you sure that you want your kids to go back to school? There’s a lot of conflicting and confusing information going around right now on this topic. Those who are proponents of the idea are saying that kids aren’t affected by COVID-19. But where I live, we just had a six week old baby die of it. Can somebody please explain to me how that is “kids not being affected by COVID-19?” As of this writing, 0.7% of the total COVID cases in my state have been school-age kids.

In case anyone has forgotten, our schools are probably the most effective germ factories of modern society. Ask any teacher and they can tell you how quickly a cold or the flu runs through a classroom. According to studies, the average desk in a classroom has more germs on it than a toilet.

We might ask ourselves why there are so many germs on the average school desk. First, it’s because kids are notoriously dirty. Has anyone yet succeeded in teaching their children to wash their hands for 20 seconds, as often as we are being told that we should? Secondly, there are all the parents who send their kids to school when they are sick, because the parents have to go to work and “they’re really not that sick.”

How long do you think it will take for some parent to send their kid to school, infected with COVID? How long will it be before a teacher is there, perhaps asymptomatic, spreading COVID around their classroom? Will those teachers stay home, if they’re not being paid?

While I won’t say it’s impossible to open our schools, there are a long list of questions that need to be answered before it can happen. The practicalities of protecting our kids and our teachers haven’t been worked out by anyone and I seriously doubt they can be worked out by the time that school is supposed to be starting. Part of the problem, is that the people who are making the decisions aren’t including teachers in the discussions and they are the only ones who truly understand what it will be like to try and implement all those great ideas in the classroom.

Some school districts are talking about having classrooms at half-capacity, so as to allow social distancing. I’m not sure who figured that out, but it doesn’t work. It is physically impossible to achieve six feet of social distancing in a classroom by cutting the normal class size of 30 kids down to 15. To accomplish it, you have to cut the class size down to 9. Even that is going to be a bit iffy in some classrooms.

Ok, so where does this leave you and I?

It appears that many school districts are planning on allowing families the option of classroom learning or distance learning. If my kids were still in school, I’d pick the distance learning. There are just too many things that are still unknown about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as how quickly it will spread around in our schools. I wouldn’t want to have my kids be used as lab rats to see what happens.

Yes, that places a huge burden on parents. I realize that. But that doesn’t bother me. I homeschooled my three children all the way through, so I know what it’s like to have them home and have to do the extra work of teaching them.

But let me debunk that work a bit, if you please. Children don’t need eight hours of instruction per day, to make it through school. From the numbers I’ve seen, they really only get about 45 minutes of real instruction per day. Even if that’s not true, my kids completed their school work in three to four hours per day and they all entered college ahead of the cure.

That three or four hours of education doesn’t mean that you need to do three or four hours of work though. Your job isn’t to teach classes to your kids, it’s to plan their education. That means figuring out what they need to do and making sure they do it.

Homeschoolers generally buy curriculum for their children to use. That’s usually an investment of a few hundred dollars per child, per year. But you can save a lot of money buying used books. But you don’t necessarily need that, as your child’s school will be providing some online education.

Don’t let yourself be limited to that though. I’m not sure exactly what schools are doing; but I doubt it is enough; so augment it. With all the online resources available today, you can give your children an entire education with YouTube videos. But that’s not all that’s available. There are a lot of resources for teachers online, many of which will work just as well teaching your kids at home, as they do in a classroom. Take some time to do a bit of searching around and see what you can find for whatever topics they are studying.

The good news about all this is that for what really will end up working out to be less effort than you expect, you can actually give your children a better education than they would get in the classroom. Statistically, homeschooled children far outshine those taught in any public school classroom.

Yes, it’s extra work; but it doesn’t have to be that bad. It’s just one more thing to do, to protect your family, just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

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