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I can't really answer that for you...

That's been my response almost daily for months. "I can't really answer that."

I do know a lot of inside information. Between my experience with schools (both traditional and online) and my many connections to those still in the trenches, I get quite a bit of reliable info. But some things I just can't answer.

For example, "Should I leave my child in school to see how it goes, homeschool, or use a cyber school." I really just don't know. So, I tend to ask these questions instead because the answers will hopefully lead parents to the answer they already know.

How did it feel helping your child with school work in the spring during the covid crisis? Even though it was a mess, and probably much worse than this new school year will look, how did it feel? Was it overwhelming, frustrating, infuriating? If you choose to homeschool or cyber school, you'll still be needed.

Are you brave enough to attempt homeschooling? It means you will be responsible for your child's education or for hiring tutors to assist. It means you'll purchase curriculum, set the pace, evaluate progress, and count days. You'll have frustrating days. Days when your child(ren) will not want to do school. You'll have to decide how much flexibility they can have, but still make sure the work gets accomplished.

Do you and your kids have high expectations about the effectiveness of online education? What features of cyber schools are most important to you? Live sessions, recorded sessions, one-on-one assistance, asynchronous options, flexible due dates, a text book, IEP support, AP, honors, dual enrollment, vo-tech, sports? Just because your child likes "being on the computer" doesn't mean they'll love being online 5+ hours a day watching classes. I mean, they might. But what if it's just too much, especially if they're young? Kids in cyber schools need high accountability at home so they stay on track.

No matter what educational option you go with this fall, know this. Every change (even alternate arrangements at their same school) will take a few weeks, maybe even a month or more, to get through the adjustment. Give it time. Give yourself time, too. If you're not certain homeschooling or cyber school will fit your life and comfort level, it is probably best to wait and see how school rolls out. But if you feel more peaceful about one of the other options, then just do it!


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