By: Luscious Mother
More homeschooling will be hard. Let’s make it easier. For everyone.
Hello Mamas –
It’s Sarah. Happy Wednesday to you! Last week our local school district, Charlotte-Meklenburg Schools, shared its plan for opening school. For the first couple of weeks, our kids will attend in-person school roughly one-third of the time for orientation purposes. After that, it will be all distance learning until further notice. Honestly? Not a real surprise, just a relief to know what’s happening so that Matt and I can start to make our fall plans for Mirabelle’s education.
Like all parents not accustomed to homeschooling, Covid learning has been challenging for me and Matt. Even before Covid we had more work than time, which is a very fortunate position to be in. And now with our endlessly exciting *all new* Covid schedules we have less time and the same work as before–arguably even more with Luscious Mother ramping up (so much happening behind the scenes that we can’t wait to share!).
If coaching has taught me anything it’s how to get flexible and innovative with what life throws at me. So Matt and I got to scheming. We’ve been “podding” with one of my Luscious Mother sisters, Elena and her family. If we build on this “podding plan” each of the four parents on-scene could take one day of the week to wrangle our three girls, and maybe on the fifth day of the week each family is on their own or finds an alternate childcare solution. We confabbed and this became the declared commitment of the pod.
I cannot lie. I felt rather impressed with our creative problem solving skills.
Later that day as I was scrolling through Instagram, minding my own business, I saw a meme that made my stomach drop. It said:
The post that accompanied this prescient meme went on to say that the people who have been and will continue to be most profoundly impacted by ongoing distance learning are BIPOC students–often the same kids who already face greater societal obstacles to education and advancement.
The meme hit so hard because it’s true. There was my white privilege encapsulated in one brisk slap of reality. As the New York Times put it, “in practice, [learning pods] will exacerbate inequities, racial segregation, and the white opportunity gap within schools. Children whose parents have the means to participate in learning pods will most likely return to school academically ahead, while many low-income children will struggle at home without computers or reliable internet for online learning.”
All the pride I felt around our solution drained out of me and into the ground and left me soaking in the all too loud presence of my own entitlement. It was… uncomfortable.
So I brought it to Matt. We started talking about the challenges facing families with less resources and support, and we came up with an idea: In short, what if we create a system allowing families who are setting up private virtual tutoring for their child or children for the fall semester to raise their hand indicating their willingness to welcome one or more other students–likely from the same grade, but not necessarily the same school or classroom–to join their tutoring group, free of charge. Any pay bump to the tutor for the additional students would be covered by the hosting family.
I love collaborating with Matt. We haven’t done a project together in a while and this seemed like the most worthy project we’ve ever conceived of. So, we got to it. I called the Luscious Mothers and Matt called his partner at Charlotte is Creative, all of whom were immediately in! By the end of the day we had connected with some tutoring organizations to get their support and guidance. We consulted with a web designer who suggested Facebook Groups as a place to start and pilot our idea. Stay tuned for Tutor Challenge 2020 (working title)!
What’s your back to school plan, mamas? Do you have the support you need? How can we help? Let us know how things are looking at your house and if you need any support. Or maybe you have some time or resources to spare to support families and students that would benefit from your generosity?
We’re here. All ears and full of Luscious love for you.
Sarah + Anna
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