Be Honest: Is the Thought of Back to School (or not) Making you Lose Your Mind?

Okay so here’s me being TOTALLY honest and transparent about sending my kids back to school in September during this COVID crisis and global pandemic.

Parents: Does sending your Kids Back to School this fall feel like an Ethical Dilemma?

On one hand you NEED them gone and in school for THEIR learning, but also for YOUR sanity.  On the other hand you need to keep your family and loved ones safe and at home.

I have kids ranging in grades and abilities from preschool up to grade 7.  Because of that,  I have different concerns around the levels and abilities of each of my kids.

For example, I feel like my older two (going in to 6th and 7th grades) will do fine with it, and are actually looking forward to going back to class.  They will be able to follow the safety procedures put in place by the school division.

Then I have two that are in preschool and one in kindergarten.  All 3 of these kiddos are in a program with small specialty classes, and because of this I am feeling okay about sending them.





BUT, One of my boys is starting grade 1 in a much larger school than he is accustomed to.  It will be difficult for him to adjust, to become familiar and comfortable in this new school environment.  Add to that, all of the additional COVID concerns and precautions on top of the already stressful start to a new school.  It is this type of  scenario that I worry about a lot more.

I have been going back and forth debating this in my head for basically the entire summer.  It’s a real parenting dilemma.

Here in Alberta, our premier announced in late July that we will be resuming in person physical classroom learning  (As with many different school divisions, we had the 3 different options/choices).  The province has later added the mandate that children in grades 4-12 will need to wear masks in common areas.  Younger grades will not be required to do so.

Pros and Cons of Physical Classroom Learning VS At Home ONLINE Learning

Physical Classroom Learning

The PRO’s to a classroom  learning environment:

  • Learning from a qualified teacher with experience in finding ways that allow our kids to learn best.
  • The social aspect of being in school and in class as well as the clubs and extracurriculars involving other people.
  • The act of physically getting up, getting ready and out the door (my older kids have lost this ability is seems lol).
  • Being able to hang out with their friends in person and not just in messenger apps or on Tik Tok (@athomewithheather)
  • Being in a physical classroom is much more interesting and interactive than at home learning.
  • More variety and challenges for kids in classrooms.
  • Kids are MUCH better with a set schedule.

The OBVIOUS CON’s of a school and classroom environment:

  • Much higher probability of getting sick or infected with the corona virus.
  • Crowded classrooms exposing children to a much larger group of people (even by doing the “cohort classrooms” that are being talked about in some areas).
  • Insufficient staff to be able to practice and ensure proper social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
  • Concern over other parents and families not following the proper procedures to keep kids home if they are even feeling slightly unwell.

Online Home Schooling

The PRO’s to an online home school environment:

  • Children remain home and in our small family units to continue social distancing from people .until a effective solution or vaccine has been found for the corona virus.
  • Does not put our teachers and school staff at high risk.
  • Life is at a slower pace because we are not constantly running to the next “thing” .
  • Family closeness and unity.




The CON’s to an online home school environment:

  • It is very difficult to keep kids on track and on schedule with at home learning.
  • Kids do not find that they have the support they need to complete the lesson plans
  • Kids find it difficult to focus and concentrate on the tasks at hand
  • Loss of Motivation (I really found this with my own kids as the weeks went on this spring)
  • Parents are not able to juggle their own full-time jobs as well as managing kids online learning objectives (especially when they have more than one child).
  • Kids get bored easily.
  • Both parents and children feel overwhelmed and stressed with this type of learning environment.
  • Kids feel isolated and get depressed without interaction from their friends.

How am I Resolving this COVID School Dilemma?

Honestly, I am not sure that I am?

My decision is to send my kids but be prepared to pull them back immediately if things start going down hill.

Looking at all the Pro’s and Con’s for my comfort level:

  • I really do feel that kids benefit much more from an in class learning environment.
  • I also believe that kids need some social interaction other than JUST our close little family.
  • I think although parents are always teachers to our children, actual Teachers do best with the 3R’s of Education
  • I do feel safer when we are all home and keeping social distancing as much as we can .And staying home to practice “social closening” has been awesome.
  • I think society needs to keep the slower pace and even though we are preparing to head back to class and back into the world more than we have been, I feel it important we slow it down a bit

Believe me, I will be adjusting and changing my mind as we proceed into the fall and see how things are going.

I will NOT take a chance on my families safety, but I also do not want to take a chance on compromising my kids learning ability and the chance at knowledge and a well rounded education.

With all of that said – My kids start school in just 19 days!!!




So what are you doing with your kids this 2020 School Year?

I’d love to hear your comments below, let’s start talking about it.

 

 

Talk soon,

Heather

 

 

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