The Vaccine Hot Potato
Vaccines have always been a hot potato. These days, vaccination seems to be more of a red-hot, blister-burning coal than a hand-warming, foil-wrapped spud. I’m confident that you and the rest of our readers have done some research on vaccines in the last 24 months. Therefore, it’s reasonable for me to assume that you are much more knowledgeable of this subject than you were pre-COVID.
I know the following might sound like ancient history, but let’s go back to 2019. Can you even remember life before COVID? Try your best to recall your knowledge and opinions on vaccines “way back then.” Do you remember the story coming out of New York City public schools in June of that year? It was a big one. Let me refresh your memory.
Schools have had vaccine requirements for decades. And most of us didn’t bat an eye when our pediatrician said it was time for our kids’ 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month shots. Yes, a small percentage of parents opted out of these vaccines. And that often generated blogs or conversations on the pros, cons, history, and effectiveness of vaccines.
On June 13, 2019, New York City public schools no longer allowed religious exemptions for mandated vaccinations. The backlash from parents was intense. The required vaccinations weren’t out of the historical norm. They included:
- DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis)
- MMR (measles-mumps-rubella)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Hepatitis B
Interestingly, a chickenpox vaccine exemption was allowed with proof that your child already had chickenpox, which gave them natural immunity.
The issue was the religious exemption. Parents who were pro-vaccination stood shoulder to shoulder with other parents making a statement that the religious exemption should remain, regardless of whether you were for or against vaccination.
Now let’s think back to early 2020, when the COVID lockdowns were just starting. You certainly remember that schools closed. What else happened? Churches went online. Many gathering spots closed altogether, including movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, and sporting stadiums. Everybody experienced some kind of loss. Even my young grandkids felt it. Their one-day-a-week outdoor school had to close. And they had questions. Why couldn’t they go feed the chickens, hold the rabbits, and work in the flower garden anymore?
Lots of questions, loss, and suffering. And there wasn’t a COVID vaccine for big government to try and mandate yet.
When the fall of 2020 arrived, millions of families made the decision to start homeschooling. Among the reasons, the response to COVID ranked near the top. Kids were required to wear face masks, social distance, and sit behind plastic barriers. Those who didn’t face these obstacles had to take a crack at online learning. Teachers and students were completely unprepared for Zoom fatigue. They simply tried to copy live teaching in a virtual setting, which doesn’t work. The different format requires a different approach. Whether in-person or virtual, how could anyone expect the kids to learn in any meaningful way?
And they didn’t. Not only did kids get behind. Some reports suggest that they won’t catch up. In other words, the steps backward are irreversible. They won’t be able to make up for what they lost the past two school years. I personally disagree with this conclusion. No one has to stay permanently “behind.” And let’s face it: The government school standards for what a given student should know at certain ages are largely arbitrary. From firsthand experience as a homeschool dad, I’ve seen my supposedly late readers catch up for “lost” time and more, once they were good and ready.
But I don’t want to say that kids haven’t suffered. Tremendous loss and negative consequences have come about from the impractical ways conventional schools have tried to deal with COVID. Assuming you brought your kids home, you discovered all the benefits of being in charge of your kids’ education. Your home was already determined to be the safest place possible during the lockdowns. That didn’t change in the fall of 2020 or throughout 2021, and it’s still the safest place and the best context for them to learn and grow emotionally, socially, spiritually, and academically.
The pandemic has caused academic, emotional, and social hardships for kids. Some are woefully behind and will struggle to get back to an upward trend on the learning curve.
What do parents want? They seek stability. And the best solution is for the kids to be with their families — at home.
This is the end of my article. You might be curious to study more about vaccines and other health-related subjects with your kids. Apologia has the perfect resource to help in this regard. Read on to get more details.
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
You are a homeschool hero. As a matter of fact, you are amazing. Your kids believe in you. Now it’s time for you to believe in yourself. Yes, homeschooling is hard and takes sacrifice. But the rewards and blessings are worth the cost. And you have what it takes to educate your kids. You can do this thing called homeschooling.
We can relate to what you are feeling. Rachael and I remember starting reluctantly way back in 1996. Fortunately, Apologia is here to help you. We can guide you to success. What’s the secret sauce? For one, the textbooks are the teacher. They are written in a conversational style. Plus there aren’t any overwhelming teacher manuals.
After reading this article, you are probably curious to study vaccines and other health-related subjects with your kids. Apologia has the perfect resource to help in this regard.
So don’t delay. Get yourself Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition, 2nd Edition right now.
Don’t leave your kids to the failing and expensive conventional schools. Help them become independent, lifelong learners. Cultivate in them a love for reading and learning. Instill your family values along with moral and religious instruction. Experience true educational success.
Welcome to the most significant cultural, social, and educational movement of the last 50 years. You can do this thing called homeschooling. And it’s good — as in really good — for your kids.
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of five illustrated children’s books designed to help parents instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their preschoolers. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! You can hear more of what he has to say at the Let’s Talk Homeschool Podcast.
© 2022 Davis Carman