In the end we decided not to send the kids to in-person school in the fall.
In our last post, we’d already decided not to send DC1. The risks are larger at the high school level and all but one of hir chosen classes is going to be offered online (Programming II will have to be swapped out with either AP Physics 1 or AP Statistics). DC1 was also on board with this, as zie is an introvert and while sociable enough in person doesn’t even know some of hir friend’s last names and certainly doesn’t have any contact information.
DC2 ended up being a harder decision, but we finally brought the question to hir. Zie asked what virtual schooling was going to be like, so we showed hir the district webpage.
While there, Zie also looked at how in-person schooling was going to be different while zie was there, which we hadn’t really thought about. Zie didn’t like that zie wouldn’t be allowed to play on the playground with friends from other classes. Zie didn’t like having to wear a mask all the time. Zie was a little weirded out by the going to the restroom as a group rather than when zie had to go. Zie also didn’t see much point if zie couldn’t go to after-school with hir main friends. Zie pointed out that in-person school didn’t sound as fun as usual.
Then zie added up the amount of time spent doing school virtually (90+90, that’s 3 hours, right?) and liked that it was low. Zie liked the flexibility. Zie liked being able to eat whenever and not wear a mask and use the restroom whenever. Zie also found out that at least one of hir good friends is going virtual and had hopes for zoom and maybe even Minecraft realms on a regular basis like we’ve been doing this summer. (The four of them piloted out Minecraft Realms for DC2’s birthday party with a couple weeks of one-on-one playing in anticipation so that hir two friends who weren’t already immersed in Minecraft could learn how to play the computer version. One amazing thing is that zie can even play Minecraft nicely with her frenemy(!) They’re a little snippy at each other but nowhere near as much as usual.)
Adding that DC2 will still be considered Dual Language (meaning instructions and lectures will be in Spanish alternating weeks) and will still have GT (zie promises not to be a jerk on zoom like last year), it seems like virtual will be the best option. We’re going to have to figure out how to make it work with our work schedules, which is always the problem, but at least there will be less worry about illness. And DC1 will likely be getting more sleep than last year during in-person high school (hopefully).
And as the weather gets less hot we’ll be able to kick them out of the house again. Other online people are setting up beautiful welcoming home offices for their kids. Maybe we can set something up in the backyard instead. I wonder how far out the wifi reaches…