By Effie Koustas, MSPT
As we try to navigate these unchartered waters in the middle of the pandemic, time is ticking. I need to decide what to do about sending my children back to school. It is the million-dollar question right now, without ONE truly “safe” answer. I sit here thinking will I make the right decision? I am not the only one, as there are many other moms out there, wondering the same thing right now.
I really should send my children back to school because that is what they are supposed to do and if I do not, they will fall behind. But fall behind who? Right, I should keep them home and reconsider remote learning, like we followed in the spring, and/or even home schooling. “Children are less likely than adults to develop complications”. Great, so there is a risk, but I don’t feel comfortable sending my children as the guinea pigs.
Then there are so many options out there available to us for FREE! But which one? “Virtual Learning Academy Charter School”, or VLACS out of Exeter, NH, is free to NH families, adults and kids alike. Khan academy, another well known app used by families across the world, is another one. Or do I consider Abeka or Granite State Home Educators? As the saying goes “The world is your oyster” but is it really in 2020? The world as we knew it may not be what we should expect to return to, once this is “all over”, whenever that may be.
I just joined a Facebook group, created by a mom in the Working Moms of Bedford page, called “Granite State Pandemic Pods”. What is a pod? I am glad I am not the only one wondering because someone beat me to it and asked! “A pod is a small group of children learning from one teacher. They are popping up in some of the major metro areas around the country. It’s “An alternative to e-learning…”, this mom writes, “…or sending kids off to school, for those who aren’t comfortable doing that yet”.
Well, will I do my own due diligence and keep an open mind, because that may be right for my family? My oldest does have a tree-nut allergy, which is already a concern as it is, especially as he enters middle school, – a new building to adjust to.
But what about the teachers? Many of them are older, and/or near retirement, and do not feel comfortable returning with these new guidelines? They may be immuno-compromised, and/or their children/students may be as well. Well then, “they should stay home”, others respond, as it doesn’t apply to their family. That is just one example. What about children who suffer from ADHD/etc. and can’t handle remote learning? Then they should consider home schooling. Unfortunately, there is no easy cookbook, cookie-cutter answer to this very complicated question.
Those are SOME my many thoughts right now, as we approach August and school is set to resume August 25, 2020. I am overwhelmed as it is, trying to keep my family healthy and entertained, forget adding back-to-school decisions. I do and I don’t miss the hustle and bustle of pre-Covid life, but I also know that simple errands, such as grocery shopping, have now become quite a chore. From shopping with your mask donned properly, keeping your distance, and limiting your time inside, to decrease exposure, but also allow others to enter the store, due to capacity limits.
I am blessed to enjoy this time with family, especially outdoors, while we can. Unfortunately, I am leaving you hanging without an answer on my decision for now. What I can say is that YOUR decision must be best for YOUR family. How are you handling your family life at home and back to school decision for your children? Send your questions/comments to our Facebook page Family Physical Therapy Services or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.