Okay I’m sure your thinking based on our website name, how would you know? Well we’ve been homeschooling a while. If you haven’t read some of my posts, let me give you some background. We go between NYC and Delhi,NY. Now I can’t say how on top of the paperwork they are here but I’m going to give you our experiences. Everyone has different but this is kind of like our Pros and Cons, part of it is due to being in quarantine so I’m going to try to give you a glimpse of pre pandemic life as best as possible.
We love the city as there are many more homeschoolers. We can so easily randomly meet up at a museum, zoo or park. In fact in my area, there’s been a slow increase. It’s awesome because we have 12 playgrounds that are all with 15 minutes of the apartment. In the city we can explore architecture, museums, Zoos, aquarium, musicals (on and off broadway), nature and so much more with a short travel and time it for a free or low cost day. Cities have more to offer especially NYC, especially when it comes to cuisines as well (we are foodies as I’m a trained pastry chef and we blog about it at Matthews Kitchen). There are co ops of all sorts, different classes, rich history. You name it you can find it in the city. Which is great as homeschooling since we can enjoy it and learn. However living in the city is expensive and right now with everything closed and being virtual, well it’s a much different outlook. We miss things things dearly but being stuck in a small apartment in the city, it’s not fun. (For those of you still doing it, I commend you, all respect here).
I grew up in this house in Delhi. It’s a small town in the Catskills. our house is out of town nestled between 2 other near by towns near the town line. We are extremely lucky (and yes privileged) to be able to come up to my parents home. We have 6 acres and access to hundreds more thanks to our neighbors. It’s woods surrounding us which gives ample wildlife. This could be considered scary to some city folks but we love it. We sit on the porch and watch the animals, listen to the birds and enjoy the fresh air.
There are museums and zoos and an aquarium around, well sort of around. There are lots of educational places but it’s going to cost you gas and ticket. They don’t, or from experience, usually offer free admission but you can certainly check each place. Only place up here that was free was The Albany State Museum (awesome place to visit).
There are co ops and classes here as well and homeschoolers, but you will have to find your crew. Some aren’t as flexible as others. A lot less.
Bright side though, we are surrounded by nature. Science and life skills are not only important but tend to take the forefront while up here. Don’t get me wrong we are still doing Math, English, Health etc, but his focus, or lead has been science (animal science mostly) and learning new life skills (mostly cooking)
We are also blessed to have space on our yard for a trampoline and playset (his treehouse as he refers it), a make shift archery range, hiking trails, access to a stream, and a blow up pool in the summer and a private area for sledding in the winter. So everyday that it’s been nice out, we’ve been getting some time outside. Even if it means sitting on the back porch.
For us, this is home. We’ve been here since the end of March and won’t return to the city until mid September (at least that’s the plan but it could very well change with what’s happening in the world). With a lot more access being virtual, he’s still having an amazing experience and is using zoom to socialize through different classes. We do miss our in person classes and play dates, both here and in the city, but it’s not having him regress, which thrilling for me as a mom.
He’s happier here. He’s been more engaging, exploring, building and researching, this is his home too. I’ve been trying to picture returning to the city after this quarantine and I just can’t see us visiting anyplace within the city for at least a year that’s enclosed (museums, transportation etc). And no I’m not being fearful, I’m being cautious as our family is Immune Compromised. That’s already difficult to deal with but being in the country has been so refreshing. I can go on about the financial and healthcare differences but that’s not the point of this post.
Strictly educational, Matthew and I love learning up here, even in quarantine. I dint think we could get closer as mother and son, but yet we have. One day we will return to the city, whether it’s a visit or to continue living in our apartment. For now we will be enjoying the Catskills and using it to our advantage.
Stay tuned for our post about Camps for the summer.