Getting Schooled About Education


By Joy Lynn Clark

The year 2020 was one of the worst years of my life emotionally but was still full of hope and promise. As most families around the world, we were in our apartment due to quarantine.

Like most families, we also decided to go back to homeschooling. Our school district rolled out a plan to educate the kids with a, “virtual” plan.  On the other hand, since we had homeschooled in the past, we decided to just go back to how we used to study.

As usual, we got a gym membership to do Physical Education (and get some exercise).  I also tried a website that had great practice drills in math and language arts. We also read two novels, Shakespeare’s, “As You Like It” and Cooper’s, “The Last of the Mohicans”.  We also studied World History, Spanish, Science, (light refraction – see Roy g biv) and Algebra.

This time however,  my son hated homeschool. I was so disappointed because we both used to really enjoy it in the past. I even brought up the fact that it was only boring because of the quarantine.

Business-wise, I was sent some information about school funding open to people with 501c3 status like one of my businesses. Since we were still in quarantine status, all of our meetings were by video conference. We were walked through the application process for funding which could be used for our private homeschool program or another private school for my child to attend.  This education grant gives up to $30,000 per student.

My mother is an educator as well as several aunts and an uncle. I reached out to my mother about the school grant and she was encouraging. I spent lots of time talking about my life as a blogger and musician but I also have lots of experience in the nonprofit sector. I even worked in a college and a semi-private alternative high school.

In addition to working full-time at a semi-private alternative high School I was also a part-time talent agent. One of my duties was to find models for Jamie Foxx’s music video. I invited a very special student to be involved. Her dad, another military guy, agreed and I was so proud! The video was awesome and although the agencies’ owner usually places young children I was proud to get this young lady a gig and prove that there is work beyond young childhood.  She was always fussing about all of the people coming to her agency that were just too old.

From the time that we left Chicago to where we are now in Lexington it seems as if there has been one thing after another. Therefore, I came up with two different plans for my school funding (AKA give my kid a great education plan). My first plan was for my semi private homeschool (even a couple of my close neighbors were interested in allowing their children to attend) which included several educational trips or a private school where I’m really raising the money for tuition. I didn’t really want to send him to private school but my child seemed like he wants a traditional School setting. IKR.

In order to satisfy my son, I reached out to a couple of private high schools. One was definitely a parochial school and the other was about to become a parochial school, I think. I am an atheist and I was not totally sold on the parochial school idea since we had so many issues with our application to the Latin School back in Chicago.  Sometimes I wonder whether it’s my career in the media or if it’s my child’s private school applications.

Now in Lexington, I reach out to the administrators that were advising us about the grants. I eventually forwarded a handwritten note page to let her know that I am working on it even though my kid is now acting as if he wants to just go to public school.

In addition, my know-it-all-aunt who is an educator from Chicago public schools starts acting as if I have no school experience. I nicely point out that I used to work at a college and a high school. Next, another know-it-all relative acts like I have to have an education degree. I kindly point out that very well may true in your state but in my state, those funds are available to all children.

I gave my mom and a friend of mine some info on the education grant and they encouraged me. My dad was trying to help me with the private school tuition but I didn’t have a dime and the one that looked the best was a Christian high School. Also my dad is on his pension and I didn’t have the heart to ask him to pay way.

 I called my mom to see what they’ve been up to and they were taking turns schooling my cousin’s kids because it was quarantine still.

During the quarantine year I abandoned the notion of private school and I tried to get my son on board with a local trip to Washington DC and a trip to Mexico City where he can work on his Spanish in my grant proposal. My child is no longer interested in my alternative education plan and he simply wants to go to public school when the schools finally reopen.

I spent the next month trying to get him to let me go ahead with the proposal but it always ends up in an argument. I hate all of this fighting and I eventually give up asking for the funding and enroll him in public school.

Since he was in fact homeschooled, we had to meet with an administrator from our local school district to evaluate him correctly for placement.  After his first semester, the school accepted that he can keep up and he ended up with AP coursework.

During the same time, our local high school is building a brand new facility and I am hopeful that he will love public school once they are finished.

Joy Clark is a writer, producer, vocalist, and publisher. Lexington, KY