In July 2020, I wrote a blog about why I chose to send my children to an in-person charter school for the 2020–2021 school year. This article received over 150 comments on Facebook, ranging from support for my decision to other mothers telling me I was gambling with my child’s life and that I could buy new children from a stolen baby charity when my children die (yes, that was an actual comment). In today’s age of whoever shouts the loudest and shouts first is correct, I have always valued follow-up to stories. So here is mine.
At the beginning of the year, I had a 4th and 6th grader attending a new charter school with a completely different curriculum than their former school. My children were so ready to return to in-person learning in August after being away from a classroom setting since March. They were even excited to be in uniforms for the first time ever if it meant they got to be with other children. What a blessing, too, that our school didn’t require children to wear face masks. I entered the year cautiously optimistic. Everything seemed too good to be true.
I can 100% say with all certainty that my husband and I made the best decision for our kids. It wasn’t too good to be true — it was a wonderful dream that has become our daily reality. They have absolutely thrived at their new school. It is exactly what they needed. They both are bringing home As and Bs consistently, and I am very, very pleased with the level of ESE support my child with an IEP has received. Sure, there have been hiccups along the way, but the mere fact that my 4th and 6th graders were allowed to be children again, in a school setting, without their mouths covered and surrounded by plexiglass was a blessing. While I heard stories of canceled performances and events at other schools, we were having an outdoor holiday concert. In the spring, the school hosted an amazing talent show, and then in April a wonderful musical production.
I’m certain to receive the same level of backlash as I did in July, so one might wonder why I would even bother writing a follow-up to my original post that garnered me so much negative attention. That answer is simple — when we allow outside influences to overrule our maternal instincts — I think that is a dangerous way to live. I knew what was best for my children. It wasn’t the most popular choice, but at the end of the day, should that really matter? Shouldn’t what parents choose for their children that they birthed and raised matter? I love that we live in a free state like Florida where we are able to make those decisions. And if there is anything I have learned from going against the grain on this topic, it is that I trust my motherly instincts 100%, and I recommend you do the same, no matter how hard it seems at the time.