Back to School

It’s August, and that means it’s back to school time! Although we all enjoyed homeschooling last year (well, maybe “enjoyed” is a strong word), the big kids are going back to public school for this coming school year. Jackson, who is fully vaccinated, is going back in-person to our neighborhood school. Grace, who is not old enough to be vaccinated, is going to do the district’s remote option.

As Delta variant cases rise, so does my anxiety about Jackson going back to school. I don’t think he’ll get sick from COVID, but he could definitely bring it home. After all, schools are the original germ factories. And that puts Gracie at risk.

We have been very lucky so far to have avoided COVID infection. Of course, we are careful—we don’t go out around people much, we wear masks indoors, etc.—but it still feels like we are playing Russian Roulette. It feels like we could be one turn of the barrel away from a devastating infection.

(Side note: In a heroic display of love and affection for his wife and daughter, Chad received his first dose of the COVID vaccine last week. Thank god.)

Grace has been exceptionally healthy this past year or so, most likely due to staying home, masking, and not being overly exerted from school. She will have all those things on her side again, which is great, but because Jackson will not be staying home, there are a few more rounds in the Russian Roulette barrel—a few more opportunities for her to get sick.

As much as I would love to homeschool them again, it is not the best thing for Jackson. He misses his friends so much. He would love the structure of the school day, and the activity that comes with gym class and recess. He needs to go back to school.

Grace could do homeschooling again if it were not for her worsening vision. There are no private-pay vision services available. Apparently Medicaid won’t pay for vision teachers to provide service in the home, so that’s why there are none who do. So, she has to return to the district so that she can receive vision services. At least there is a remote option. She can “work from home” while I work from home. We’ll both sit at the kitchen table with our laptops and do our thing.

Sometimes, there is no way out but through. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. And if the best doesn’t work out, we’ll change direction and do the next right thing.

That’s all we can do.

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