As you know, we are in quarantine and are practicing social distancing, which means that we can no longer attend school. We are doing everything online and everything is so different. Our parents have become our teachers and they’re experiencing what our teachers do on a daily basis.
Some people like me are enjoying it, while others believe it is so frustrating. Honestly, I don’t blame them! In my opinion, students in high school who are graduating have it the worst because they missed out on so many big milestones, like prom and graduation. It’s their last year in high school!
There’s no social interaction with our friends from school and the teachers are trying their very best to keep us positive during these times. As you may know, I was homeschooled for most of my life before I started middle school. Now, the whole world is homeschooled along with me, so they can know what it felt like all those years. Don’t get me wrong: I love going to school and I miss it, but being homeschooled is a nice change of pace for me, especially because my teachers are so flexible with handing in work. My school uses Microsoft Teams for anything and everything and because I used to use an iPad for all my work, it wasn’t too hard to transition when we started homeschooling.
When I’m getting ready for school in the morning, I get in my wheelchair and put my iPad® into a built-in mount that I have on my power chair. This connects wirelessly to my wheelchair, which is a great thing because my chair has built-in Bluetooth®. Through that, I’m able to control everything on my iPad using my joystick and that helps me independently finish my work on time.
I like being in my wheelchair to do schoolwork because I can adjust myself if I get uncomfortable and that makes me feel so independent! I don’t have to keep asking for help unless it’s absolutely necessary, since I know my parents are stressed out with homeschooling my brother as well!
Of course, it’s a little overwhelming to be home for months, but we need to have hope that we will get through this. We remind ourselves that the reason we are doing this is for our own safety and health.
Most kids take physical education classes during school and are missing out on it because of homeschooling. For kids like me, we’re missing out on occupational and physical therapy that we need to stay strong. This is affecting a lot of kids. Parents aren’t trained to be therapists and knowing what to do is a challenge.
The one thing I miss the most is roaming the school halls at iLevel® on my electric wheelchair. I got to experience hands-on experiments in science labs, eat lunch with my friends, open my locker, and so many more things because of my new wheelchair. Now that I am not going to school, I can’t enjoy all the freedom and newfound independence I had. I just keep reminding myself that it’s all temporary and I can’t wait to hit the hallways in September, hopefully!
I hope everyone realizes that being homeschooled isn’t what it’s cracked up to be! Kids always thought that because I was homeschooled for years, it was the best thing ever. Now they’re all experiencing homeschooling and they can relate to the struggles of being homeschooled and missing out on so many great things.
About Sakina Shamsi: Sakina lives in New Jersey with her parents and brother. Although she has spinal muscular atrophy type II, Sakina lives a full and independent lifestyle. She is active in the disability community and enjoys horseback riding, baking and crafting. Click here to learn more about Sakina.