Herding cats

I have a fairly demanding full-time job. I also have two kids that are gearing up for school. When their first day arrives, how am I going to balance those two things?!

The honest answer is: I don’t know exactly, and that’s okay. This is our first year of remote school. We’ve done a blend of homeschool and public school in the past, and we were getting pretty comfortable with that. With public school going remote, it’s going to create change. We have two options then: plan, or panic.

It feels like our school district is trying to do both at the same time. The first day is on the near horizon, and they are still trying to decide if they will be full remote or hybrid. That’s not the kind of decision to spring on families at the last minute, when we need to consider childcare and supplies, too! But that’s a topic for another day.

And as someone who works in higher education, I don’t want to insult the scale of what they’re trying to do, or their lack of experience with doing it. There is a lot to plan and provide to get a school year off the ground. Beyond classes, there’s housing and parking, computer access and financial aid. It really is like herding cats, and if everything goes well then that’s the expectation. Very few people will say thank you.

So, with everything in the air and the deadline approaching, I should be a wreck. I’m lucky to have that homeschool experience though, because one of the things it taught me was: there are always options.

If remote schooling isn’t working out, I can homeschool. I can unschool. I can enroll in a distance-ed program with more flexibility around when classes are attended. Or one that uses a different teaching method that my kids will actually respond to.

There are always options, and deadlines are BS. If we didn’t figure out what we wanted to be when we turned 18, our lives were over, right?

Of course not. We adapted, and improved, and life went on.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. Remote learning will either work or it won’t. It’s up to me to give it a fair shot, and show my kids how to embrace change. It’s also my duty to change course if it doesn’t pan out, and show them that being “wrong” isn’t the end of the world.

At the end of the day, I’m a parent. I don’t need to “pretend” to be a teacher, or a leader. I’m already both, and so are you.

What do you think?