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Carol Perkins: No easy answer for parents

Previous Column: Daily routines

By Carol Perkins

The debate continues about how to manage the coming school year. In some states, parents (along with their children) can decide if their student attends school or enrolls in a virtual classroom.

Guy and I were discussing what we would have done if we had had the choice when we were young. I didn't have to guess his decision; he would have stayed at home (back then with no computer), completed workbooks, and taken tests rather than walk up the hill to the Summer Shade Grade School and sit in a desk. Having no interest in attending school even at a young age, he would have been overjoyed not to go. However, his parents might have felt differently.

The confinement of a classroom under the authority of a teacher never appealed to him, but he missed the entire reason for attending---socializing. When I mentioned this, he assured me that he and his buddies would have done lots of "socializing" outside of school. They would have roamed the woods, gone squirrel hunting, shot basketball, and played on the school playground after hours.

I would have gone to school if my friends had.

What one did, the other did. It's a girl thing. The notion of staying at home if they were at school was scary. What would I miss? A lab experiment might have blown up and I would have missed it! A couple might have a fight in the tunnel (a part of the layout of the school) and I would have missed it! Not that I loved algebra or science or chemistry, but I sure didn't want to stay at home.

As for academics, I can't see myself sitting at the kitchen table for hours, filling out workbook after workbook, preparing book reports, working math problems from the text without anyone sitting next to me with whom I might pass a few notes. Being with my friends and classmates was a necessity--or that's what I thought. The only time I was glad not to go to school was during snow days because I knew no one else was going. Day after day, doing the same things at home would have driven me crazy! (It is about to drive me nuts right now!)

I feel sorry for parents having to make decisions about school. It's a tough call. If a child has a voice, I am guessing the majority will plead to stay at home. Not everyone views school the way I did. Many would take Guy's approach. No matter what decisions are made, nothing is going to be a good solution to an impossible situation. We all must muddle along until this situation ends and try to pass the time productively. At least that is the conversation I have with myself.

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2020-07-16 05:50:01
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