After a year (plus a few more months) of doing virtual school my boys are finally back at school in-person. This school year (2021-22) our school district is still offering virtual school but the majority of students are attending in person. We opted to send our students to school in person because the virtual options for this school year seemed less ideal for us.
Some of the things that I worry about now that my kids are going back to school in person after a year of virtual learning:
Health & Safety
With vaccination rates on the rise, especially among teachers in our district, we felt fairly comfortable sending them back to school Our school distract also voted to keep mask mandatory for students. Since children under the age of 12 aren’t eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations it’s a bit of a risk. But we’ve been closely following state and national guideline from multiple sources and feel that children that are in good health should be OK going back to school. While I’m not a scientist or doctor we do trust the advice of trained professionals to guide our decisions.
Abel, my youngest, attended his kindergarten year of school totally online. He never got to experience all the fun interactive parts of kindergarten. I’m a little sad that he missed out on that experience but ultimately I think he had a pretty easy yet successful kindergarten year learning at home. While he does have some areas that are a little behind typical kindergarten standards (classroom skills, handwriting and some fine motor skills) I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. All students across the country experienced the same alternative school year in 2002-21 so I don’t think they are actually behind in any way that will actually matter.
So this is a concern but also a huge benefit to my boys attending in-person school. Last year they relied heavily on me for assisting them with their daily school work. My son, Noah, has an IEP and get a lot of additional assistance in school but last year most of that assistance fell on me. I worry that he will regress a little in his learning without my guidance but I also know that he needs to become more independent. He will still have a great support system in place to help him while he’s at school so I’m hopeful that he will continue to grow in his education.
My kids can be a little hesitant to make new friends. They want to have friends but aren’t always sure how to befriend someone or they get a little shy. I really hope that the consistency of their classmates and activities will help them to form friendships at school Last year it was difficult for anyone to make friends when everyone is just a small face in a square on your computer screen.
My Mental Health
Last year was a real struggle for me, especially because I was expecting it to be the first year that all of my children were in school, when in actuality none of them were in school. So much was demanded of my time that I felt like I was parenting little kids again. Now that the kids are in school I’m not really sure what to do with myself. I’m hoping to find productive ways to invest in my self and my interests. It’s going to take a little effort on my part to adjust to having all of my kids in school.
I Miss My Kids
Finally, I miss my kids. I’m not one of those parents that dreads summer or counts down the days until Christmas break is over. I really love spending time with my kids, especially when we have the freedom to do whatever we want. Last year was a challenge because we were constantly following other people’s schedule to get school done but this summer has been such a refreshing break. I’m really going to miss the slow, laid back mornings and fun outing we would take throughout the week. I truly miss my kids when they are at school and can’t wait until their next break.
Ultimately, I’m very happy that they are back in school. We are taking all the precautions necessary to make sure everyone stays healthy and that they have a happy and successful school year… back in-person.
The boys had a great first day of school