TL/DL: We are still an active group, but will not be hosting in-perosn meetups during the fall semester this year for the safety and well-being of our families due to Covid-19’s on-going threat. We are currently planning on hosting online, elective classes for enrichment (not core subjects) during the fall semester and will hopefully resume in-person meetups in the Spring. For the latest, most accurate information on Triangle Homeschoolers’ plans and activities, please join the ‘TH Secular Homeschool Chat’ group on Facebook.
So welcome to 2020, I guess?
Honestly, we’re not even sure how to begin this post; this year has been such a trip. For many of you, homeschooling is a welcome change; a challenge that you and your family have been looking forward to and planning for a while (or are jumping into feet-first with relish), but for many others this year, being thrown into homeschooling is a big, scary, frustrating, last-minute option that you were hoping to avoid. We can sympathize with both points of view, and welcome you, whatever your situation.
The fact is, homeschooling is not for everyone; not by choice, and even seasoned homeschooling families are struggling with the limitations we’re all working with during the pandemic. But despite the circumstance, it CAN work for your family, and that’s what groups like this one are for – to help you find the path that will work best for your particular family. Every family is different; there is no one ‘right’ way to homeschool; no one ‘right’ path or curriculum or schedule or philosophy… and honestly, that’s the beauty of it. We hope that whatever your circumstance, we can help you figure out how to make homeschooling work within your family’s situation this year.
If you’re totally new, then we have a couple of resources that might help in the very beginning stages. Our Guide to Getting Started is in four parts, and covers many of the concerns and questions new homeschooling parents have. It covers four areas; getting started including the legal requirements for homeschooling in Texas, methods and curriculum, scheduling and record keeping, and finally, socialization and things like planning for high school. We also have a chat group on Facebook that is open to parents so they can connect with other homeschooling families and ask questions not covered in our guide, or to get other perspectives with a personal touch. If it’s been a while since you’ve read through it, there may be something that hits you differently now that you’ve got some experience under your belt. Either way, we recommend giving it a once-over before the school year starts, just as a refresher. And, as always, chatting in the group with other parents is a good way to see what works for other people that you can tweak for your own family.
As of this writing, we are two(ish) weeks out from the usual start of the school year for our group, and we have decided that with the information we have now, we’re not hosting any in-person meetups for the fall semester. BISD, which is our local school district, is hosting online classes for the first four weeks of school, with the possibility of continuing that through the first nine weeks of the school year. If the local school openings go well and classes resume without any issues, we may revisit that decision, but by and large, the individual families in our group have been quite conservative with social exposure; most of our families have been in at least semi-quarantine since March, so we’re mostly anticipating continued social distancing for the fall semester.
Depending on circumstances, we hope to resume hosting some of our group’s most popular in-person activities (like our co-ops and Zombie School, and weekly field trips), and even graduation at the end of the year, at some point this school year. In the mean time, we’re working on planning some parent-hosted, online/virtual, opt-in, enrichment classes that will at least offer some student v. student interaction while keeping risk of illness low. When we’ve finalized those plans, you’ll be able to find out more about that on our Facebook group.
So, with that, welcome to homeschooling in 2020! However rough the start this year, we’re happy to have you with us.