Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Reasons I Want My Kids in School

Over the weekend, I received an email that our principal is recommending to the Board that we 1) start school one week later and 2) will be 100% virtual for the first 4 weeks of school with evaluation happening every 4 weeks to determine if we continue virtual.


Like almost sobbing freaked out.

When I wrote about all my conflicting emotions last week, one thing I didn't say {not sure why} is I almost wanted someone to make the decision for me so I could at least have peace about it - if someone made the choice I couldn't second guess whether what I was doing was right or not.

Well, I got my wish and immediately was upset. Not because I can't see why the school would do this - there are too many unknowns and it would look terrible if there was a huge spread of COVID because of schools opening.

BUT because I want MY kids back in school. I worry about the mental effects all this will have on them more than the physical toll of COVID given my children are healthy and this is really not affecting kids. {And I fully recognize a school has to also consider the safety of the teachers and staff, I'm just speaking from my own personal situation.}

Here's why I want my kids back in school FOR THEM:
1) I think we do an okay job, but they need to be more active. We are not getting nearly the activity level they got with daily PE and recess. Yes, we go on bike rides and swing and take walks, but they need more than what we are doing.
2) I want them to be around other children. We have some kids we play with, but it's not the same thing as being with a classroom of kids and interacting/learning from/dealing with etc. your peers.
3) We need to make school a priority. If they are home with Brent and me as the teachers, we will struggle to get everything done. I don't say this like school isn't a priority but a bigger priority is Brent and me keeping our jobs. I have been meaning to work on math facts with Drew all summer...2 months in and it hasn't happened yet.
4) They need to be a priority. I feel like I am annoyed a lot throughout the day when they need anything - the mom-guilt around how much I ignore them is high. Yes, all their needs are met, and again, keeping employed is a priority, but I just want someone who can give them attention around. {Flip side: I feel ZERO guilt for ignoring Paige's tantrum at 8 AM yesterday over me not giving her a 2nd piece of bubble gum while I was trying to pay attention to a conference call...and failed miserably.}

Do you want your kids back in school or do you want to home school {if you have a choice}?


Natasha said...

I want my kids back in school. Everything you've said is completely how I feel. They need to be around other children for their emotional/social/mental health. They need the predictability of school routines (even if they look different for a bit). And yes, they need to be a priority. Plus, I can't work if schools remain closed and, selfishly, I need that for MY mental health.

And yes, my kids' physical health will be fine so I realize that is a HUGE assumption going into all of this as well.

Emily said...

I’m so sorry! I know this is so frustrating. I, speaking from a point of immense privilege, don’t really care if we are virtual or not. I mean, I would prefer in person so I can have a break from my kids, but if that doesn’t happen, it’s not a burden on me. I feel for you though! My only word of wisdom is to not beat yourself up with mom guilt. Your kids will survive and it will be ok... eventually. :)

Erika said...

Man, it is all so tough!!! As of this minute (because it could all change in the NEXT minute, of course!), our district has the option of distance learning or in-person. I selected distance learning. For now, Matt and I are both still working from home, so it is POSSIBLE, if not super fun or ideal, for us to keep Mills home. I opted for virtual for several reasons, chief amongst them being I can change my mind and put her back in school after 9 weeks if I want, hahaha. So at least it isn't a year-long commitment. :) One of my main reasons for choosing distance learning was that I suspect that the in-person option will be really iffy throughout the year. Especially where we live, where Covid is RAMPANT and only increasing, I cannot imagine the kids being in school more than a week or 2 before they shut it down again. Even if they don't shut down the whole district, there are all these rules about if someone in a class has a family member who tests positive, the whole class has to stay home for X days. If you run a fever, Covid-related or not (like, including ear infections and other non-contagious diseases), you have to be fever-free for 72 hours now. So if Millie got strep (VERY LIKELY hahaha), that would be pretty much a whole week out of school!! (The day or 2 she's actually sick, plus 3 more of just being fever free to prove she's...fever free??) I can't handle that kind of topsy-turviness. I would just rather plan well for her being home, and not wait to see on a day-to-day basis whether she will be in school tomorrow or not. Another reason I picked distance learning is because they are not requiring students to wear masks at school. That's a no-go for me. If masks were required, I would have definitely given it more consideration. I felt like with all of the new accommodations (not sharing supplies, keeping social distance, keeping kids in one room as much as possible), many of the best parts of school will be changed or minimized, like recess and specials (PE, music, art, etc). I know they will still go outside for recess, but I'm pretty sure for 1st grade that's only like 20 minutes or so. They don't have PE every day. And she gets way more free time and playing time outside than that here at home. Finally (for this long comment- I have like 50 more reasons, but you get it, haha) I just felt like it benefits EVERYONE if those who CAN stay home, do. I totally understand that many parents absolutely cannot swing it. But every kid that stays home means one less kid in a classroom, and that benefits my kid AND every kid in the classroom. One less little disease vector running amok. :) So that weighed on me, too. Anyway. Sorry for the novel!!! There's just nothing worse than the constantly changing nature of things, though!!

Kathryn Bagley said...

I don't have kids so therefore don't really feel I have a say, BUT I work with teens and just know that the underprivileged-if not back in school will literally get NO education from their parents at home nor will the parents make sure their children are doing school. Now some will, don't get me wrong but a majority of the population I work with it's either single working parents who are never home or the parents are home living on welfare and could care less if their kid gets an education. I also think about the teeny tiny's in those situations who rely on their breakfast and lunch at school and who get meals sent home with them on the weekends. I'm conflicted but I think kids need to be back in school. Whether it's half days or a new schedule but education is just really important and parents (most parents) aren't equipped to teach their kids.