I was very lucky to be able to be home schooled from the time that I would normally have started school until I started going to BYU. It was a great experience for me, because I had the chance to learn at my own speed and adjust my curriculum or learning method whenever necessary.
I never thought I’d be forced back into home schooling because of a global pandemic.
To be fair, this online school thing that’s happening now is not at all the same thing as home school was for me growing up. When I was a kid, my parents basically gave me some books and a list of things to study, and my siblings and I were on our own, unless we needed help. That method certainly wouldn’t work for everyone and every subject, but it worked pretty well for us. Our schoolwork usually only took two or three hours, and the rest of the day we were free to do whatever we wanted to (except TV and video games). We spent a lot of time building Legos, playing with toys, and playing in our yard.
Now, I’m back in my childhood home in Idaho homeschooling again(sort of). And although it’s different, I do feel very lucky for my homeschooling upbringing now more than ever, and for a different reason than normal. Usually, I’m just grateful for the flexibility and freedom that home school gave me, but now I’m grateful for another aspect of it: I’m used to being at home all day.
Yes, I did go to church growing up, and I had other activities like dance classes, and later seminary and dual enrollment electives at the local high school. But I was still at home far more than most of my peers throughout my childhood. So I’m actually pretty used to this whole “quarantine” thing.
The transition was still super hard though. Over the past few years, I had gotten really comfortable with being really busy. During the semester, I would take a full class load and be working, and during the summers, I would work as close to 40 hours a week as I could. I’d gotten really comfortable with having a strict schedule that ruled my life and mandated when I had to be productive. So going from that kind of schedule into basically no schedule was hard. But now that it’s been a few weeks, it actually feels kind of similar to the way I grew up. Except I still have responsibilities and due dates.
It’s still hard though. I miss my friends and classmates, coworkers, and professors. I miss going to Taste in downtown Provo by myself every Saturday. I miss studying on campus, and meeting up with friends for lunch. But I am also very aware of how lucky I am. I’m living with my parents, so I don’t have to pay for rent or food. I still have my job. I and my family are all still healthy, and none of us work essential jobs that put us at high risk of infection.
I may be struggling, but I am so very lucky in so many ways, and I’m trying to keep that in mind as we do what we can to slow the spread of this disease.
Stay safe, folks.