Return to school during Covid-19 or try homeschooling? Both scenarios are making parents lose sleep – and hair – across the globe.
THE GREAT DEBATE
How many of you are sending your children back to school this year? There are a number of parenting mindsets out there. The “We are healthy so the kids won’t get or spread COVID,” or “I’m scared to send my kids, but I have no other option,” or “I am sending my kids because they need to socialize,” or “I’m homeschooling my kids because they aren’t going to wear masks or get tested,” or “I’m homeschooling my kids because a family member is compromised,” or “I’m homeschooling my kids to keep them safe and reduce the number of kids at school.”
Wait a minute, that last one…the parent is keeping their children home to reduce the number of kids at school…whose job is that? Isn’t that the government’s job? To ensure the safety of the public?
It’s a hot debate right now. On the one hand, there are kids who need school as a safe place to be because their home isn’t safe. On the other hand, schools are opening in Ontario and many other places with little to no safe guards in place. How does that keep the child safe, who is going to school to feel safe?
What about the question of socialization and mental health? We are so lucky to live in a digital world. We have multiple ways for children to interact safely with other children. My children change dramatically after having time online with friends or in an online group program. They are lighter and happier. They are just as happy when I devote my time to them.
If socialization is important and you need care for your children during the day, then another option to homeschooling and public school are learning pods. Learning pods are groups of 10 children or less who are taught by a homeschool parent, a tutor, or a teacher. They are traditionally an expensive option, but many are offering discounted or free education to lower income families during the pandemic. You can find more information in the resource section below.
I am privileged. I run my own business, make my own hours, and I’m a teacher (homeschooling is still scary, even for teachers). Therefore, I have the option to keep my kids at home and I will – because I can, because it will keep them safe, because it will keep me safe, because it will help staff at schools keep the children who need to be at school safe.
Parents around the world are doing the best they can by their children. I will not judge a parent’s decision to keep their children at home or send them to school. I know that whatever their decision, it was not easy and that decision will weigh heavily on their minds everyday for at least the next 11 months.
Are you considering homeschooling?
The Canadian Homeschooler
Even if you aren’t Canadian, I highly recommendThe Canadian Homeschooler. She has many free resources and extremely helpful videos and blogs to ease the newbie’s anxiety. You can find her at https://thecanadianhomeschooler.com.
The Measured Mom
The Measured Mom has also been a valuable resource for me. You can find her at https://www.themeasuredmom.com.
Interested in learning pods?
New York Times article “Pods, Microschools and Tutors: Can Parents Solve the Education Crisis on Their Own?”
CTV News article “Some Parents are Choosing ‘Pandemic Pods’ Over Sending Children Back to School”
Would you like to know how schools are opening across the globe?
Science Magazine article “School Openings Across Globe Suggest Ways to Keep Coronavirus at Bay, Despite Outbreaks”