The decision to homeschool - MetroFamily Magazine
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The decision to homeschool

by Jennifer Nguyen

What are you doing about school? Virtual? Homeschooling? In-person? Hybrid? These are questions that continuously played through my mind when thinking about back to school during COVID-19. As a parent, it is all about making the best choices for our children. Choices that will help them one day grow into happy, healthy and successful adults.

But how do we know if our choices are right? We don’t. As parents, the best we can do is weigh the risks and benefits and choose what is right for our family.

Our decision to homeschool did not come lightly. We love our school. It provided the perfect educational environment with outstanding teachers to help our children thrive. We felt good knowing we did not have to worry about their educations.

However, when COVID-19 hit, we had to reassess. My husband was an urgent care/ER physician and exposed to COVID patients. We had a higher risk of contracting the disease.

Our family had to be separated for months while we decided what to do. Our sons were struggling. I will never forget our 4-year-old playing outside and running as fast as possible when he saw his dad’s car pulling up the street. He ran halfway and then stopped, remembering that he was not to hug his dad due to the virus. This moment hit us hard, and we needed to make a change.

My husband made career adjustments that give us more family time. As for school, due to the unknowns of the virus, we felt it was safer for our children, friends and family to keep our kids at home.

In March, when our school transitioned to virtual learning, our family had trouble adjusting. As time went on, I realized our boys had different ways of learning. To be successful in learning at home, I had to find what works best for us. I researched, asked questions and explored every resource available. We took many assessment tests from various curriculums to find our right fit. I found that no single curriculum met all of our needs. I selected parts from multiple curriculums to create one that works best for my two boys. Here’s what I’ve come up with for our family:

My Preschooler’s curriculum:

  • Base: Blossom and Root
  • Math: Singapore Math
  • Reading: The Good and the Beautiful
  • Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears
  • Religious education: I Am books
  • Social Studies: Magic Treehouse book series
  • Foreign Language: Vietnamese
  • Art: Art Hub and Pinterest
  • Typing: www.education.com 

My 1st grader’s curriculum:

  • Math: Singapore Math supplementing with Beast Academy
  • Language arts: The Good and the Beautiful
  • Science: The Good and the Beautiful
  • Writing: Handwriting Without Tears
  • Religious education: I Am books
  • Social Studies: History Odyssey
  • Foreign Language: Vietnamese
  • Art: Art Hub and Pinterest
  • Typing: www.education.com

As a first-time homeschooler, I am having to learn and adapt as we go along. I’ve realized that success depends on me being flexible and open-minded.

It was hard to tell others about our school decision because of the fear of invalidation. But I knew that if I am struggling, others must be too. I hope all parents know whatever decision they make is the best one for their child.

Jennifer Nguyen is a work-at-home mom homeschooling her 5- and 7-year-old sons. She is director of development at Oklahoma City’s Camino Clinic, a nonprofit clinic partnered with various organizations to provide healthcare, workforce development, food pantry and community support. The clinic will open this fall.

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