Schooling Options: Distance Learning, Home Schooling, or In-Person?


I recently saw the graphic posted below about schooling options from Latched Mama. I liked seeing the graphic and it made me feel supported, so I decided to venture into the comments (I know, totally risky, these days). What struck me about the comments was the number of moms wondering what school options other moms were choosing for their kids and why. 

A graphic showing the 3 schooling options

That got me thinking, that with this tough decision we all have in front of us, many of us just want someone to tell us what we are doing is okay, agree with us, or explain why another option might be best. We’re all just looking for a little reassurance. 

So, I decided I’d ask three Vermont moms which schooling options they’ve decided on for their kids and to explain why and how they made that decision:

In-Person Learning

schooling option - in person

“I was firm until about a week ago that our kids (entering 2nd & 4th grades) would not be going to school FIRM. But the truth of it is I need to work, and I love to work.

I can do most of my work from home, but I can’t do it while trying to educate the kids and play with them. My husband doesn’t feel comfortable being the one to help with remote learning so that would fall on me.

We decided this together as we decide everything in our household and it’s truly what we feel will work best for us. Am I scared? Absolutely! But I was just as scared to keep them home. I want my kids to come out of 2020 stronger, and with my anxious tendencies that I’m seeing in my daughter as well — I felt keeping her home especially could be detrimental.

Lastly — we watched a pediatrician share her thoughts and essentially she said, “Whatever you choose is right, as long as you believe that.”

So we are choosing to believe that sending our kids back to school is the right decision. And that those who don’t send theirs to school are making the right decision for their family as well.

We are also very VERY FIRM that it is ok if a month into school, we have to reassess.”


3 schooling options - distance learning

“My kids are entering 1st and 2nd grade this fall. I work from home (even when we’re not in a pandemic) and my husband has been working from home since March. We were firm that we wouldn’t be sending our kids back into a school building. 

With me being home regularly and my husband being home for the foreseeable future, we have the luxury of keeping our kids home, too. We know that others don’t have that luxury and we feel strongly that if keeping our kids home can make class sizes smaller and safer for teachers and families who need to send their kids to school, then it was the absolute least we can do. It also means that, if schools shut down again for in-person learning, our routines won’t be affected. 

The reason we decided to homeschool as opposed to using our school district’s remote learning plan has to do with both of us working from home. Since we are both working, we need the flexibility to do what works for us when it works. With the new Agency Of Education guidelines regarding remote learning, we knew we would not be able to make it work. 

Since making the decision to homeschool, we’ve filed the home study paperwork with the AOE, researched and assembled a curriculum, set up a home classroom and additional casual learning nook in our home, and set a schedule that will allow us to home educate our children and work from home. To be honest, I am actually really excited about the way this model is shaping up for our family and am not closed to the idea of homeschooling past this school year.”

Remote Learning


“We decided to go with fully remote learning for our daughters because we don’t want to send them to school if masks are required and if they are unable to leave their classroom throughout the day. 

The masks are a struggle during a twenty-minute grocery store run, making sure they have their masks on and not touching them. I can’t even fathom the girls having to wear masks for any period longer than that.

Luckily, I have flexibility with my job so that I can work fully remotely and that made the decision that much easier. I know being out of in-person learning will be missed by our daughters. But we have to look out for their emotional well being, and we feel that masks and restricted movement throughout the day would do more harm to them than good.”

Questions to consider when making your decision about the schooling options:

  1. Are you and your partner/spouse/co-parent on the same page with this decision? Have you discussed who will take on what responsibilities and how you will share the load?
  2. How will changes to your work situation affect your child’s schooling? (ex: you can currently work from home. What happens if you’re required to go back in. Or, you work out of the house. How will you work from home while simultaneously schooling?)
  3. How did your kids handle remote learning in the spring? How did you handle your kids remote learning in the spring? Do you think you could handle it this fall or even make it better?
  4. Do you prefer creating your own schedule or following someone else’s?

I hope these three moms’ decision-making processes can help you make a decision for your own family’s schooling options. But, remember, whatever you decide, you ARE a good mom!

Schooling Options: Distance Learning, Home Schooling, or In-Person?


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