With all schools, in the United States, starting within the next month or so (if they haven’t already begun), families still having opposing opinions on whether or not they want their children to attend in-person school. We have heard from those who are completely against their children participating in any activities that involve being in the presence of people that do not live with them. We have seen parents/guardians creating or inquiring about learning pods because they want their children to “socialize” but they do not like the idea of a large class setting. We have read comments from parents/guardians that are essential employees and need in-person schooling because, otherwise, they have no idea what they will do with their children (or their job). There are families, for other varying reasons, who are adamant that they want their children to attend school in-person when the school year begins. And, of course, there are the teachers who do not seem to have a “say” in choosing what they feel is best for the protection of their health/safety and that of their family.
Although the school districts surrounding us are starting the 2020-2021 school year completely virtually, there are many districts in other parts of the country that are either conducting a mix of in-person and virtual schooling, doing “business as usual” (i.e., completely in-person), or offering families the option to choose which method they prefer. As a parent or guardian, it is typically your choice to do what you feel is in the best interest of your child, but what happens when your choice doesn’t align with the option(s) available?
Administrators spent the late spring and summer months trying to decide what is best for teachers and/or students. The U.S. president and many parents/politicians/administrators want children back in school immediately. While many others still do not feel as though it is safe. Ultimately, none of us know the short- or long-term effects of opening schools but we do know that this global pandemic is not yet gone.
To go to school or not to go? That’s a simple question that’s probably been asked more times this year than ever! As homeschoolers, our opinion is a strong “Nah” (but that’s not just because of this global pandemic). We know that everyone is concerned about socialization and wants their children to return to “normal”. We feel the effects too. We won’t be meeting up with friends, visiting our beloved museums and libraries, randomly sitting in tea shops, traveling to places that spark an interest, window-shopping, or attending in-person coop classes. But, we also realize that the response to that question isn’t as simple for essential workers or people whose jobs are requiring them to physically return to work. This whole situation is sad/crazy/unknown/scary!!!
For the schools that have decided to open, especially for those that did not offer the option for students to participate virtually, I hope that their decision does not become a textbook example of “What Not To Do During a Global Pandemic” or that they are not the reason that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) are forced to reverse their guidance on the impact, of COVID-19, on children. Let’s all pray, hope for the best, and/or follow safety guidelines and check back in a couple of months.
What decision(s) has your country/state/school district made? What does your family plan to do? What are your opinions of this whole pandemic situation? Please share your comments & opinions with us.