Like much of the world, we’ve been learning at home since mid-March due to COVID-19. Now, with the last day of online nursery school behind us we are officially homeschoolers! We view homeschooling as a lifestyle, one we made the decision to pursue well before we’d heard of the coronavirus. In January of this year I left my career in infectious disease research to prepare for homeschooling, just weeks before we learned of the pandemic that would have much of the world learning at home. I’m viewing this strangest coincidence as a sign our family is on the right path.
I have been interested in homeschooling since meeting the family of my favorite college professor; his homeschooled children were a delight to be around and from spending just a couple dinners with them I could tell they had a love of learning that often seems extinguished in children in traditional school, and their family dynamic was one I hoped I could someday re-create. After college I went on to earn a PhD and began a career in clinical research. I remember chatting with a colleague about our futures, sharing my hope to someday be able to stay home with my children and homeschool, to which she responded along the lines “then why did you get a PhD? That would be a waste.” I’ve mentally struggled with this question for the last 5 years, while I continued to work with my son in full time care, and finally came to accept the choice to home school, stepping away from my career, was the right one for me, right now. I don’t regret having my son in childcare during his early years. He had excellent teachers in a variety of settings, from Montessori, to traditional daycare, to progressive private school, with opportunities for social interactions that I wouldn’t have as easily been able to provide for an only child.
Now my son is beginning his kindergarten year and we are excited to begin our homeschooling journey – learning and growing together!