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Should you send your kids back to school this fall?

Things to consider before starting your kids in Covid-19 schooling

We are a few weeks away from Back-to-School, and schools around the country are preparing for a school year unlike we’ve ever seen. As parents, we have a difficult decision to make and we can hardly get together to talk about it as that is the very nature of the problem….social distancing required! Should we send our kids back to school?  

We all know that school is more than just academics. It is where our kids make friends, build relationships, learn social skills and, hopefully,further develop emotional skills. Schools provide important services and support for children. 

Many schools are offering parents a choice between in-person learning or virtual learning. Strict safety measures are being enforced in schools which include combinations of requiring masks, reducing the number of students per classroom, temperature checks, social distancing, and increased hand-washing.

On July 27th, after weeks of uncertainty, The Oregon Department of Education announced, “schools will not be open for in-person learning and will for the first quarter of the school year ( October 30th) Starting the Year, through Quarter One, with Comprehensive Distance Learning.

I have to admit I’m relieved because the burden of choice was removed from the already overwhelming number of decisions I have to make for my three kids.I had multiple concerns that could have ultimately concluded in ruining her future endeavors in school. 

Questions that I asked myself about sending my child to kindergarten

How exactly would the teacher handle all safety rules and how would infractions of the rules be treated? 

I am concerned about the social aspects of education but what would she really be learning? 

How to stay six feet apart?

How to wear a mask so as not to breathe on anyone?

Will she panic if someone coughs?

Keep her hands off her face?

What happens to her if she forgets? 

  Am I setting her up to hate school because her first experience involved “safety first, on an overwhelmingly high level of concern”? 

How much time would be invested in teaching safety, albeit socially inappropriate, compared to traditional education?

How on earth could any young student enjoy this kind of educational experience?   

That first year of school will certainly set the stage for the future learning at school. `Honestly, because my child is only entering Kindergarten, I would have chosen the virtual learning option for her anyway.  I think my other two possess the social and emotional skills to handle the new model because they have had school experience and they would easily understand that this is a special and different year.  The only concern for them, as I see it, is whether or not they could really stay safe and continue to enjoy learning.  (I probably speak for all of us regarding these two concerns.)

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