School in Nashville begins next week but my mind was already made up over a month ago to commit to virtual schooling for my kids this year.
No matter what side of the coin we land on, there’s no question that parents were faced with making one of the most difficult decisions for their livelihoods and families this school year.
Today I’ll be specifically focusing on some Black parents who made the choice of virtual school for their children. I’ll also share why they came to their personal conclusions.
Hopefully, by sharing these choices we can help another parent that hasn’t quite made up their mind yet, to sift through their own situation for the best solution.
Why I Decided On Virtual Schooling This Year
Initially, as Nashville entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan, our school district gave parents the option to either learn virtually or physically for the school year. Even though the final details weren’t set in stone at the time, at least we had some options. Tough ones…but options nonetheless.
Then the inevitable happened.
Nashville had to take a step back and downgrade to Phase 2 because of a fresh spike in COVID cases in the city. There was pushback from those who choose not to social distance or wear masks, in their circles.
You may have seen this recent video of our downtown area packed with maskless tourists and locals, made famous by TMZ , circulating around major news networks. Downtown Nashville has become the epicenter of new COVID cases in our area and there’s no wonder why.
I still don’t feel we are out of the woods with COVID-19 and I’m not convinced that the safety measures, PPE funding, or social distancing protocols will be enough to prevent student, teacher, or staff deaths.
It’s way too risky right now and I don’t have a right to take that kind of risk on the lives of my children or anyone elses.
Virtual Schooling Became The Clear Choice For Us
That’s my #1 reason for choosing virtual schooling. In addition to not trusting my 5 and 12-year-old kids to wear a mask all day or follow all of the social distancing rules.
It’s too much.
I just want them to focus on learning.
Of course, I want my daughter to experience the joys of traditional kindergarten. I’m so disappointed that she won’t get to do that. I’m also sad that my son won’t get to see a lot of his classmates and teachers in person this year.
But, we’ll figure out ways to socialize and interact so they won’t feel so sheltered. I’ve already explained what our new school year is going to look like and our district has since gone 100% virtual until after Labor Day.
Nashville parents do have the choice to go back to physical learning after that time but I’ve already resolved to keep my kids home for the entire year. It’s gonna be tough. A crazy struggle. But we have to make it work.
My first priority as a mom and wife is protecting my family. Whether that means covering them daily with prayer, nurturing their needs with love and food, or literally putting my foot down about social distancing, I gotta do what I gotta do.
Why Some Black Parents Chose To Go Virtual
In order to get a better understanding of why other Black parents have made the same choice as I did, I asked a few (who have decided on virtual) about their school choices this year. The questions posed to them were:
- What are your reasons for choosing virtual learning for your kid(s) this fall?
- What concerns you the most about the upcoming school year?
Here’s what they had to say.
Elle, mom of twin 6th graders and host of The Cleverly Changing Home Schooling Podcast.
We are choosing remote learning. My 11-year-old daughters are in the 6th grade and one has multiple health challenges. I am not comfortable with her being in such a vulnerable position. However, she is a social butterfly and loves her friends so I am going to try to find safe opportunities for her to interact and socialize in, but school is too long and unpredictable for my children.
Danielle, mom of kids ages 6 and 8 and blogger at OKDani.com
We chose virtual schooling this year for our children bcause there is too much uncertainty with COVID 19 right now. My kids are 8 and 6 starting 3rd and 1st grade. Wearing a mask, not sharing, washing hands consistently and staying socially distant from their other little 6 and 8-year-old friends would be a very hard job for them. Frankly, I just feel safer educating them at home.
Jacalyn, mom of sons ages 12 and 15 and parenting blogger at Stop Yelling Please
We are doing virtual. What concerns me most about the upcoming school year is my son is extremely extroverted. He needs interaction with other children his age. School was where this need was met. My son also has asthma and the thought of him contracting COVID is absolutely terrifying. I worry keeping him home to do virtual learning will be detrimental to his mental health. But sending him could be detrimental to his physical health. I felt so trapped with an impossible choice to make.
Kia, mom of kindergartner and family lifestyle blogger at Come Wag Along
My 5-year-old will be starting kindergarten this year so I’ll definitely be sad that she won’t get to experience going to “big girl school” in person. I’d rather her be safe though because I feel there is no way that kids will be able to social distance properly or wear a mask all day. I’ll fell safer with her home with me. It will be a challenge working from home and virtual schooling at the same time, but we can do it!
If you’re still on the fence about your learning options this year, I hope that this post offered some insight that could help. I know this is difficult but I have hope that there will be some great new discoveries as we jump into these waters this year.
Have you decided which learning option to go with this year? If not, what are your concerns?