Are You Ready to Send Your Kids Back to School In-Person?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. How do we get back to “normal”? Do we dive in? Is it too soon? What once might have been a simple answer has now become a debate of principle and safety.

So, how do you go about navigating the argument of whether or not to allow your child to go back to in-person learning?

Start by recognizing that both yourself and your child’s other parent have valid concerns and considerations.  Come to the discussion ready to truly “hear” each other’s views and then try to understand why they feel the way they do.

 Here are a few points of discussion to get you started.

Potential Reasons to Return to In-Person Learning Potential Reasons to Continue Virtual – Learning
The structure of the live classroom can lead to increased focus because there are fewer distractions. It’s easier for students to get their teacher’s immediate attention. Socialization. Kids need to be around other kids- period. Studying in-person reduces eye-strain caused by staring at the computer screen all day. In-person classes help reduce the need for childcare while parents are at work. Returning to school increases access to free meals, internet, and other resources for low-income students. Teachers don’t have to waste learning time on troubleshooting technical issues and making sure everyone is able to “log in.” Studies have shown that the students who are in the physical classroom get more attention by default. The privacy of the classroom allows for debate and student discussion with less potential for being recorded or overheard. This promotes a safe space for the exploration of ideas.

Parents can mitigate the risk of germ-spread and the threat of COVID-19 within their household. There is no commute to and from school, (think- no more carpools or bus rides!) Students don’t have to wear a mask or worry about social distancing rules amongst their immediate family. Flexibility to study in any convenient location with an internet connection. As a result, there are more opportunities for the non-custodial parent to have increased visitation with the children. Remote learning enables parents to be more involved with their child’s learning. Some students learn better in a solo environment. More time for family bonding. More time for increased creativity and expression.

After you’ve shared your thoughts with your co-parent, consider doing the following:
  1. Ask your child how they feel about continuing remote learning or going back to school.  What do they think are the PROS or CONS of returning to in–person school?
  2. Consider your child’s feelings and determine whether going back to school in person will help or hinder them emotionally.
  3. Is there something that you would need to change in order to feel more comfortable with one of the above PROS or CONS?
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer.  Being an effective co-parent means keeping the best interests of your child first while working together. It’s up to you both to decide what the best decision for your family really is.
Each family is unique, and it is okay if what works for your family isn’t what works for the family next door. As with any challenge in your co-parenting journey, what matters most is that the children are okay. Want to chat more about co-parenting during the Covid-19 pandemic? Give us a call.

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