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To Return to School or Not?

Updated: Mar 18

By: Dr. Darby

data informed decision making process

That is the question. Listen, being a caregiver is difficult at times.  Being a caregiver in a pandemic is 10x harder.  As all caregivers struggle with deciding if they should send their children back to school, please know that you are not alone. This is a hard one, folks! We have two sons, a 12-year-old, going to the 7th grade, and a seven-year-old going to the 2nd grade. They attend a private school that appears to be making independent decisions.

Back in March, when the schools were shut down due to the Coronavirus, there weren’t any choices.  We had to go with the flow and figure it out.  I must say that our sons’ school didn’t have the best plan. In comparison, I heard from some of my friends’ that their kids’ schools were teaching virtually. Like they were on the computer teaching lessons (insert blank stare).  I can’t say that this was our experience.  

Both of our sons’ teachers set up a “meeting” weekly, and it was more like a check-in.  We, as parents, had to pick up a stack of worksheets that we were supposed to “teach.”  There was no organization to it, and when I tried to organize our younger son did not respond well to the new schedule.  He was use

kids on computer at table

to a routine, and unfortunately, the school did not organize his work to coincide with his school routine.  If they did that in the beginning, things may have been much smoother.  They figured it out later on in May, but by that time, the school year was almost over.  Instead, we were then accountable for organizing how we homeschooled our children.  Our kids aren’t “bad” children, so the behavior isn’t the issue.  We aren’t teachers, though.  I purposefully did not go to school to become a teacher because I DID NOT WANT TO TEACH and did not want to homeschool my children.  It was very frustrating. 

We received a survey a couple of months ago regarding if we should go back or do a hybrid model. At the time, we were on the fence about what we wanted to do, so we answered the survey from the perspective of a hybrid model. At that time, the numbers of those who had contracted COVID-19 seemed steady. Last week it was announced that we had to decide to either send our children or not. If only it were that simple!

teacher and students wearing masks

We went back and forth several times.  We asked so many questions (e.g., How will the classroom be set up? Will they wear a mask all day? Does temperature indicate anything? Etc.).  We’ve decided not to send them back and will revisit it in the spring.  This was not an easy decision at all!  Life is all about choices and options.  There are no wrong decisions; you have to live with the consequences, make new choices, and create possibilities.  My thoughts and prayers are with all caregivers making tough decisions!

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