Coronavirus “Back to School” Plans and a Can of Worms

As I read the newest announcement of back to school plans in light of the COVID-19 situation, I realized every one of these plans opens several cans of worms. Iowa has announced that the state will not require masks or social distancing when children return to the public schools in the fall. While this may or may not be welcome news to Iowa families, there are several very nuanced points that need to be considered in this announcement. 

1) Any way you slice it, the COVID thing is going to have a big effect on homeschooling in the coming year. “Jill Pennington Swanson is considering home-schooling her children this fall if students and teachers are not required to wear face coverings in the classroom.

The Waukee mother of six said she is disappointed that Iowa is not taking more stringent safety precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus in schools.”

2) Iowa has 327 school districts and 119 additional accredited non-public schools?!?! REALLY? Iowa? “Instead, the state will leave those decisions in the hands of local school boards, which could lead to a variety of approaches across Iowa’s 327 school districts and 119 accredited nonpublic schools.”

3) This is going to lead to more CHAOS and arbitrariness, with every district deciding on its own requirements. “Officials at Des Moines Public Schools said this week that they would require students and teachers to wear face masks in buildings. Ankeny, on the other hand, will not require face masks or temperature checks when school resumes.” This will only lead to more parent, teacher, and student frustration – and ultimately, more people leaving the public schools.

4) Parents won’t actually know what to expect until just before kids are supposed to go back to school – and then, things will likely change when the predicted “next wave” comes. “The majority of Des Moines-area school district officials that spoke with the Register said those decisions are still being worked out and it could be weeks before parents know what will happen when school starts.” Again, this will lead to more frustration and confusion. “‘It would just be nice to know what they are thinking,’ Pennington Swanson said. “I know August is a ways off, but for planning it would be nice to know what direction they are leaning.”

Late Friday afternoon, the Department of Education released a statement saying further clarification of the guidelines is needed. It promised to ‘release additional information in the near future.'”

5) People have no concept of the difference between a guideline, an order, and a law – and consequently, too many people are living under unnecessary, arbitrar restrictions, which have endangered peoples health, undermined the economy, and trampled on the constitution and the God-given rights of the people. “Jean Hessburg, a spokeswoman for the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), the state’s teacher’s union, said the state’s plan doesn’t comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for public places.” A plan doesn’t have to “comply” with guidelines. It can meet them, exceed them, or ignore them. They are guidelines, not laws, and not orders (which are normally applied to agencies, not individuals).

6) The media repeats outright lies in their fearmongering effort. They don’t bother to fact check them if they fit with their agenda, even if they are completely illogical. “The recommendations come as states across the country grapple with how to reopen schools during the largest pandemic to hit the United States in a generation.” Sorry, not even close. Many flu seasons have had higher rates of infection and death in this generation.

7) Teacher’s Unions use bully tactics to promote their progressive agenda. “‘It is a gamble and obscene that the governor and the Department of Education are gambling on the health and safety of our students, our staff and school employees,’ Hessburg said. ‘This virus has demonstrated that it knows no bounds and students can bring the virus home to families and ravage a family.'” Note the attack on the governor and state Department of Education officials in their attempt to influence statewide health policy (hint: the union should be supporting teachers and students, and should confine their interests to educational matters, not health policy. Also, recognize the very subtle anthropomorphisation of the virus, “This virus knows has demonstrated that it knows no bounds…” – the union is casting the virus as a sentient enemy to reinforce the fear that we should all be feeling.

8) I wonder how many of the 50,000 Iowa Teacher’s Union members agree with the position of the union and its president. “ISEA President Mike Beranek released a statement Thursday urging school districts to create their own guidelines mandating face coverings, physical distancing and other safety protocols. The union represents more than 50,000 public school teachers and other education professionals.

‘I simply don’t understand why the state of Iowa is not taking a cue from what is happening in our country and implementing guidelines that are scientifically proven and recommended by our health specialists all throughout our country,’ he said. There they go again, with the “scientifically proven” stuff. I will save my rant on the religion of Scientism for another post, but just remember how inaccurate the projections, death counts, early test results, consensus on masks, and treatment protocols (eg. respirators causing more harm than good, and housing infected people in nursing homes) have been throughout this circus.

9) Finally, REALLY, 50,000 members!?! How many of you hear that number – 50,000 unionized teachers in IOWA alone – and get a cold chill as you realize just how big this behemoth of public education is, how much money is spent, and how much influence is bought by these unions (many times, with the money of unwilling members). 

For more perspective on this important issue I highly recommend Standing Up to Goliath, by Rebecca Friedrichs. In this EXCELLENT and terrifying book, Rebecca Friedrichs discusses the incredible influence and dangerous agenda that the national and statewide teachers unions wield. She shares firsthand accounts of the abuses of students and teachers that were overlooked and covered up by unions in an effort to protect bad, tenured teachers and their own bottom lines, as massive money making machines. Finally, she recounts her historic court battle against the unions to stop them from coercing teachers and stealing dues from unwilling members (and non-members). This is a must-read if you care about education, labor, or or the founding principles of our nation.

There is a better way! Bring your kids home! If you are considering homeschooling in the coming year, please read COVID-19 – Homeschooling during Coronavirus School Closures to get started. We have a ton of free resources available at SchoolhouseRocked.com, on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast, and at HomegrownGeneration.com, where we host a live, interactive, online homeschool conference.

You can do this!

Free homeschooling course to help you get started. Over 9 hours of free videos to help you learn to educate your children at home!

Photo by sippakorn yamkasikorn on Unsplash – Worms

Photo by Miikka Luotio on Unsplash – Child in mask on a bus

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash – Child in mask

Classical Conversations Partners with Southeastern University for Master’s Degree Program for Parents

“I would like to thank the Schoolhouse Rocked for hosting this important announcement from Classical Conversations to classical homeschoolers around the world. Schoolhouse Rocked and CC have been great partners for many years, and we are so excited for the documentary they are putting together and the journey that have been traveling.”

– Robert Bortins,

Many people who homeschool give up income and careers for their children. Some manage to work full- or part-time, but the vast majority exchange income and validation by society for their children. These moms (and some dads) are focused on their kids and often don’t think about what they will do after they launch their last child.

Although most of these moms are experts at planning, time management, scheduling, delegation, and communication, many employers will only see their gap in employment. Many homeschool moms must settle for minimum wage jobs or entry level positions if they choose to go back to work. 

Private schools could benefit greatly from hiring veteran homeschool parents to teach. They know how to help students truly learn, not just how to lecture and give tests. They understand child development first-hand, have a well-rounded knowledge, have studied logic and know how to think. However, most of these positions require college degrees, even master’s degrees. 

If you are a first-year homeschooler or a veteran Classical Conversations Director, it is my belief that God has ordained you with love for your children, that you are their first and best teacher. My wife was a public-school teacher for eight years before we were married, so I hear daily from her how different it is to homeschool than it was to teach in a brick-and-mortar school. At her first Parent Practicum she asked, “why weren’t we taught this?” 

The U.S. has a growing need for classically trained teachers. Homeschool parents need more options upon graduating their last student. CC needs more qualified CC+ assessors. Three problems, one solution— a master’s degree in teaching aligned with the Classical Conversations program for CC parents! In order to offer this absolutely unique graduate program1 this fall, Classical Conversations is partnering with Southeastern University (SEU) in Lakeland, Florida.

Imagine graduating with your master’s degree, being hired at your child’s college and teaching him as a freshman. Just kidding, you probably shouldn’t do that, but with a Master of Arts degree from SEU and CC, you could. You are already doing a great job as homeschool moms and dads; you don’t need me to tell you that. But to have a university confirm it with a diploma and tell me that they want to hire people just like you to teach college courses, well, that’s special. 

So check out http://www.ccdegrees.com for more information about the program. You must have a child enrolled in Classical Conversations to qualify for this unique opportunity, and other requirements apply2. Don’t miss out on this opportunity starting August 2020.

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

2 See website for additional details

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

Photo by Chichi Onyekanne on Unsplash