The Silver Lining of Covid

 The Silver Lining of Covid

This would be year 3 of boatschooling for the Noeta crew. Each year has looked distinctly different (read last year's lessons learned here). This past weekend we dropped off our middle boatkid at college! Hailey is off to her freshman year at Western Washington University in Bellingham, where she will be pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Design. We were very relieved when she was accepted with a boatschool transcript and good SAT scores. As a boat/homeschool parent this gives some validation to the work completed. While she does have a fancy looking Noeta diploma, colleges never asked for that. She will live on campus without a roommate for now and take most of her classes online. Things could change for Winter and Spring quarters depending on pandemic concerns.

Hailey with her fancy Noeta diploma that no one needs to see!

Jack, at age 16, is a Junior in High School. When Covid hit, all of the schools and community colleges in our resident state of Washington became virtual schools. This was a huge benefit to our family, giving us new resources otherwise not available to us. After meeting a young man in Mexico who was taking college courses through Seattle University, we explored the possibility of Jack doing Running Start. This is a dual enrollment tuition-free program available to Washington residents where students can earn both high school and college credit through courses at community colleges. Our oldest daughter, Mikayla, had done the program when we lived in Gig Harbor and was able to transfer more than a year's worth of credits to The University of Pacific. We didn't think our other kids could do it because classes were live and in person - not conducive to the cruising life. 

We checked with our old high school and they told us that he could, in fact, participate in Running Start virtually. The counselor at Gig Harbor High School helped him register for Tacoma Community College as a Running Start student and sent us all of the paperwork. All of his classes are virtual and asynchronous (meaning not live, work just needs to be submitted by due dates). Asynchronous classes are best for our circumstances since we can't always guarantee that we will have internet capability. There aren't even any textbooks he needs to purchase, all resources are available online.

So now, Jack is also a college student! He will be pursuing an AA with a specialization in History. He has done orientation, registered and even turned in three assignments that aren't due until the second day of school this week! Of course his 18-year old sister isn't thrilled that he started college before she did.  If all goes well, by the time he graduates from high school, he will also have 2 years of college complete and an Associates Degree!

Jack, after submitting his first 3 assignments.

For most parents, this new school year has meant figuring out day care, trying to help students be successful in a virtual environment and a lot of disappointment at not seeing friends. For Hailey, while there won't be a ton of interaction, she is still very excited to live on campus, be surrounded by others her age and to start the next chapter in her life. For Jack, he has new opportunities that weren't possible before. For me, after being the one who planned the curriculum, checked the work and haggled with the kids to complete it, this year will be very different for me. Now I am more in the role of counselor, tutor and cheerleader. I am excited to see how this school year plays out. 

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Sending positive vibes to all my teacher friends out there! 
I am quite glad I don't have to weather this storm as a teacher behind a screen. You guys are the best!


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