The end of the 2019-2020 school year was tough on parents, kids, and teachers. The COVID pandemic made public school learning difficult for all. Now that the new school year is around the corner, parents are asking what will returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic be like? It is all an unknown and scary thought worrying about our kids’ education and their health. What is the best choice when protecting our children while providing them with and education and being a working parent? At home learning, or in school learning?
Depending on the state, many schools are planning on staggering schedules in order to prevent classrooms from being over-crowded. They are also offering different learning options to alleviate parents’ fears. Depending on your state’s education agency, these options may include: -Refresher or remedial courses -Choices between remote learning and classroom learning -Staggering class start and stop times to reduce class size -Staggering lunch times -Half days of classroom and half days of at home learning Each state’s education agency may have similar recommendations on how to manage education in schools this Fall. How are we and our kids going to adapt to these changes and recommendations?
Things to Consider
You can contact your child’s school to find out what they will be doing to prevent spreading the virus. You can also add your school’s page to your social media accounts to stay up to date. If you have concerns about your child falling behind, contact their teacher for additional resources and options. Also, if your kid has any special needs for school, find out how they plan to accommodate those needs.
Some questions you may consider: -How many kids will be in each class? -Will the kids be required to wear masks? -How many hours per day will school last? -How far apart will the kids be sitting? -Are we required to send hand sanitizer and water bottles for our child? -If my kid has special needs, how will their accommodations change? -Will the kids have their temperature checked and how often? -How are the classrooms, bathrooms, and cafeteria being sanitized? -Will my child be allowed visitors during the school day? -How is the school maintaining physical distancing between younger kids?
If you have these or other concerns, plan a meeting with the school’s principal. Be sure to write all your questions down like you would if you were going to your doctor. Set up a meeting if you are unable to find your answers on the school’s page.
How to Cope
It’s important to keep our kids educated and informed about the virus without frightening them. Explain to them the importance of handwashing and physical distancing. Most schools will be requiring students and staff to wear masks as well as an added precaution. If you are purchasing or making masks for your kids, be sure to have one for each day of the week. Make sure you have your kids supplies ahead of time. Once all the states release their recommendations, supplies will be harder to find. Most schools are recommending stocking up on masks, as well as hand sanitizer and water bottles.
Keep yourself informed on updates about the virus but do not become stressed or panicked. Our kids may worry when they can sense that we are upset. If your kids are at home learning this year, make a schedule that works for them and your family. Try staying on schedule since kids do well with routine. Also, schedule Zoom or Skype time with their friends so they can stay connected. It is also important for them to have outside play or exercise time to recharge. Another way to cope with the worry of our kids getting sick from COVID or any other virus is to make sure they are staying healthy. As long as they are getting the nutrition, vitamins, water, and adequate sleep that they need, they are more likely to stay healthy.
Other Challenges and Solutions to At Home Learning
Some parents will be using remote learning for their kids this season. If that is the case, that is wonderful. However, not all parents have this option and it has become a daily worry as the school year approaches. I am a parent who does not have the option for at home learning for my boys and I am afraid of what is to come. I have been ridiculed by other moms including members of my family for sending them back to school. Like many other moms, I am unable to quit my job and teach my kids from home. Being prepared, staying informed, and making healthy choices are my only options. Being prepared, staying informed, and making healthy choices are my only options. Some kids are old enough to stay at home without a parent, but others need supervision. Consider hiring out someone who can watch your child and help them with their schoolwork. Most college students are eager and available to assist kids with their schoolwork and are relatively inexpensive. This way your child is not only supervised at home but also has help with their work.
Hang in There!
We are all trying our best to keep our kids safe and give them the education that they deserve. Times are scary for parents and kids without knowing what to expect. If you are not able to keep your kids at home for remote learning, do not become discouraged. There are tons of other moms out there who are in the same boat. Reach out to other moms for ideas that they have come up with in order to make this back to school transition smoother. Stay informed on updates about the virus and be prepared. If we can keep ourselves and our kids educated about making safe and healthy choices, we will all make it through this.