Homeschoolers are generally not required to follow the public school schedule or calendar. We are free to do our own thing. Sometimes when public school is in session, we are taking a day off. Other times, we are doing a school day when public school is off–either for a regularly scheduled break or cancelled for inclement weather.
Individual homeschools may do school on a “snow day” or a “teacher in-service day.” Co-op classes and resource centers may continue to run, if the roads are passable for safe travel. Field trips and activities may continue according to our own scheduling preferences.
But, when the governor declares a state-of-emergency, we should consider how we fit into the greater community around. We’re not exempt from participating as citizens. This is what has happened in South Carolina this week.
Schools were cancelled so that the buses could be used to help transport the evacuees coming from the coast. Interstates were reversed to allow for excessive traffic to flow inland and upstate. Millions of people are looking for a place to stay safe.
Some of our homeschool families are welcoming guests and assisting in the evacuations and shelters. Others are supervising public school kids for friends who still have to work, even though school is cancelled. It’s a community effort that has affected us all. Rather than look at it as an inconvenience to our schedule, let’s consider this as a means to participate as citizens and a community.
Which way will the storm go?
REACH homeschool group has several co-op locations which are run by volunteers. The admins at each location took a poll of the teacher volunteers to see who would be able to still teach their class with the evacuations and school cancellations. The admins would have had to scramble to find subs for the teachers who could not come. And the admins are also volunteers–so they calculated how much scramble they would have had to do to pull together a successful co-op meeting time. Based on these factors, the admins made the decision to cancel our co-op classes this week.
We apologize for the inconvenience it caused for any of our participants. And we also respect other homeschool groups and co-ops who may have decided to continue their regular schedule.
It’s part of the beauty of homeschooling to be flexible enough to change our plans. This is not an inconvenience. It’s a learning opportunity!
Stay safe, friends!