School Options In Times of COVID: Should we take a GAP YEAR?

Schooling in times of COVID is really difficult. Eversince ECQ, and all these COVID scares happening around the globe, I have already started to research on my options regarding my daughter's education.

You see, I used to homeschool the #FabSkye since she is 1 year old. I am surrounded by wonderful homeschooling parents so I was inspired to take a much more personal approach on her education.

Good thing for me because these mothers are not the type who would always push for medals or academics. These mothers would always remind me to follow my child's pace in learning. To not get pressured by the system. To never compare my child to others.

What I have learned during my early homeschooling times with the #FabSkye is that I am not fit for the job. I cannot teach my child.

And so when I was thinking about my daughter's schooling options for 2020, taking a gap year was actually on top of my list.

She is 6. Incoming grade 1 student. She'll have new sets of teachers on her school because she is moving to grade school department from ELC (early learning center) department. She will also have more subjects. I was afraid that all of these adjustments would take its toll on my daughter.

You see, when checking out the different schools in our area, I made sure to really find a school with more progressive approach. Where there is more teacher involvement and that's why the student to teacher ratio is very important for me. In my daughter's school it's 12:2. So the teachers really know the children and understand their learning capabilities.

I was thinking, if it's the same set of teachers.. I'll be more comfortable enrolling the #FabSkye to the same school even if it's online learning. Why? Because I know the teachers and the teachers know my child. There is already a relationship between them and for me, trust is already there.

But she will definitely have new sets of teachers now. People I don't know. These teachers are going to be new for my 6 year old and I am afraid that it'll be hard for the teacher to have a good relationship with my daughter.

I am also not sure if my kid is ready for online schooling. Learning via Zoom or Google Meet? Working on worksheets? Studying at home? Could she handle it? I am now working from home and I tried training a new hire virtually, it's not easy!

Heck! Our house is not even conducive to learning. We live in a 30sqm condo unit. And I am also working from home. The place is just too small.

I am afraid that I'll be wasting money if I enroll her and she'd end up slacking or worst, if she ends up not learning anything.

Most of all, I don't want to pressure my child. If we think all of these craziness in the world is taking it's toll on us, imagine it's effects to our children. Not being able to go out. Not being able to play. Not seeing their classmates and teachers. It's just crazy. And I don't want my child to suffer just because I don't want her to stop schooling for a year.

I was thinking we could take a gap year and we'd do informal homeschooling instead. And probably focus on our relationship more. I could also use this time to teach her life skills. Washing the dishes, cleaning up the house, cooking! Andame pwedeng gawin diba?

But I am also worried that taking a GAP YEAR would affect my child academically. As I've said earlier, I am not an effective teacher to my child. I just can't teach her. I am worried that she'd end up forgetting everything she learned in Kinder and I'd mess up her education.

But the major reason why I am skeptical at taking this option for this school year is because of my daughter. She doesn't want to take a gap year. She wants to continue attending school even if it's "school meetings". She also doesn't like the fact that some of her classmates would be on a higher grade level already while she'll still be in grade 1. Well, this child is so excited to be 6 year old and be a grade 1 student since late last year. So it's really a major disappointment for her. Minsan talaga akala natin ang saya maging grade 1 eh.

Now, after discussing our options on her current school.. it seems like we are not taking a gap year anymore. Though nothing is final yet.

I decided to enroll her on their summer academic camp which is a 1 month enrichment program. We will try the distance learning approach for a month and see if she could adapt. I will also use this time to see if there are any other tools that we need to make distance learning effective. I will talk more about distance learning on a separate blog post.

But yeah! Know that taking a gap year is actually a good schooling option in times of COVID. Our children's safety is far more important. Taking a gap year doesn't mean you do not value your child's academics. We have to understand what would make more sense for our children. If you think they couldn't adapt to distance learning, please do not pressure them. Each child's learning style and capability is different.

You could also consider taking a gap year if you have older children. Remember, school aged children are still children. They are young. And it is so easy for them to be pressured. But please also consider getting their thoughts on this matter. They are after all, the one who is most affected.

Last, but definitely not the least, we all know that this COVID situation has affected our finances in one way or another. It has been difficult for most families, financially. So yes, mumshies, if you can't afford to send your kids to school this year it is okay to take a gap year. Use your money to start a business or just save up until you are financially okay.

I will talk about distance learning on my next blog post...

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