LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - COVID-19 has been in Lubbock for ten months now and it still has some parents like Tabitha Tourmaline keeping their children learning from home to keep their families safe from the pandemic, and now, they’re waiting patiently to see how the pandemic continues to affect the world.
“I’m a medical professional as well so I know the signs to look for when it’s kind of dangerous and the things I was hearing on the news and from my coworkers were really encouraging me to take some more steps to protect our family.”
Tourmaline has an autoimmune disease and her elderly grandmother also lives with the family. For these reasons, Tabitha has kept her two kids- eight and 13 years old- at home. Tourmaline has chosen an independent curriculum and quit her job to become their full-time school teacher. And overall, she says they’re enjoying what she calls a “good challenge” and saying she’s blessed to be in the position where she was able to make these decisions
“Just how much work the teachers put in even before school even starts, so it’s been an eye-opener for me”
The family has even taken advantage of the opportunity of homeschooling further by doing socially-distanced trips out-of-state including seeing the Grand Canyon.
“I’ve seen them grow as people and I’ve gotten to be even more connected with them than I ever have before and we were lucky to take a trip and we actually drove to California and we stopped at national parks along the way. And we saw wild animals in nature and the kids got to experience things that we wouldn’t see in a classroom.”
Tourmaline says when the pandemic is over, if they kids want to chose to go back to school, that is their decision.
For now, she hopes parents have compassion for everyone playing a role.
“Compassion for yourself and compassion for your children and if you’re doing virtual schooling, compassion for the teachers. This is something unprecedented that we have never gone through before so we are all hurting right now and if you feel your kid is falling behind book-wise, it’s important to remember they are learning coping skills and very important skills right now as they process this event that is so unusual for us.”
She says families should do what is best for them.
“It’s up to your ability and your time and what you have to put into it as far as coming up with your own plan, but I think virtual schooling is an amazing option and it’s only going to get better with time as parents get used to it, as kids used to it, as teachers get used it to it.”