To Home-school, or Not to Home-school, That Is the Question

Meagan Cheney avatar

by Meagan Cheney |

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Another year brings another debate with myself: to home-school next year, or not to home-school next year?

I started our home-schooling journey in 2013 when my oldest daughter, Addisen, was 5. I home-schooled her until halfway through third grade, when we found a school here in Colorado we liked. For a couple years, we played a back-and-forth game between the two, but settled on a school we loved from the fall of 2018 to the spring of 2020.

Then, COVID-19 struck.

We pulled all three of our children (Addisen, 13, Atlas, 7, and Austen, 6) out of school in March 2020 in an attempt to keep Austen safe. She was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome at 12 months old, and fevers are a huge seizure trigger for her. It was the COVID-19 symptom I most worried about. When something as minor as the adenovirus has resulted in your kid being intubated, the big things can be very scary.

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Seizure Triggers

Home-schooling my kids for over a year was hard. Really hard. I was managing three kids in three different grades who each have separate educational and personality needs. At times I felt like a juggler at the circus, only I’m not as talented and kept dropping my bowling pins.

At the same time, though, I love the freedom and flexibility home schooling provides us. We can vacation anytime, not just during school holidays. And my kids are able to learn at their own pace. I also don’t have to worry about Austen missing school due to a seizure, since school is at home and so is her bed.

My children have made great friends in our co-op groups. They get more field trips and playtime in general. Home schooling groups also force me to get out and talk to other parents, something I have struggled with since moving away from home.

I suppose you can see which side I’m currently leaning toward, but I assure you I might lean in the opposite direction tomorrow.

I worry just as much over this decision as I do about what medications to give Austen. I mean, if I mess this up, it’s all on me. I can’t complain to the school board when something happens that I don’t like, because I am the school board, and I probably implemented that rule or task.

Who knew that raising children would be so hard and involve so many decisions? I really wish times like these came with a manual, but I suppose life wouldn’t be half as fun if they did.

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Note: Dravet Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Dravet Syndrome News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Dravet syndrome.

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