A Parent Tells Her Story of Gratitude

November 30, 2023 | By: Sharon Sedlar

A grandfather spent precious time with his beloved granddaughter and son in law, taking advantage of cyber charter school field trips. Exactly one year after this picture was taken, Shannon’s father passed away. We’re so thankful for the time spent with him and the sheer joy he felt!

I recently heard from a mom who asked me to express her gratitude for her daughter’s ability to attend a school of her choice outside of the traditional district system.
The family’s story starts with COVID, where so many families’ lives were turned upside down. And even though unexpected, the need to change educational models brought with it a new perspective – one that wasn’t tied to a building, a classroom, or even a teacher – but rather to the home and the family, where the child learned independence, felt safe, and was protected from the craziness of COVID outside.
And for this family, it wasn’t just the nuclear family that benefited, but the extended family as well. It provided the opportunity for this mom and daughter to be caregivers to the grandparents who became gravely ill. While mom was able to continue teaching, Ginny (the daughter) was able to continue her studies, both growing in their caretaker role, and with Ginny finding her future vocational path.
One of the grandparents in the Henry family passed away in December of 2020; the other in early October. Mom Shannon says “As I reflect on the end of their lives, my heart swells with gratitude for the time that we had together. Because my daughter and I were not tied down to a brick-and-mortar school, we were able to visit much more often than before. [The grandparents] were able to watch and learn about how online learning works and supplement her learning by sharing their own experiences. My family is grateful for those moments…”

Shannon is grateful for being able to spend more time with her daughter and family members when they needed her most, to deepen their relationships with their family, and to experience daily joy in caring for their loved ones when they were unable to travel.
This is just yet another example of the non-academic but critical role that education options play in the lives of children and families. They must be not just preserved, but expanded.

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