As many parents know, the beginning of the school year for younger children can be a stressful time. Not only are your children not ready to leave home after summer break, or should I say Spring/Summer break, and get emotional, as parents we are stressed by their emotions and our own emotions.
The same goes every year, but this year being the hardest. We are trying to decide what is best when it comes to sending our precious babies back to school during the Covid times.
Do we face the uncertainties and send them face to face, or do the same by virtual learning? Will they be traumatized by going back to school with all the changes or will they struggle trying to learn virtually? Some parents have to send them back due to not having access to online learning or not being home to help, while others prefer just to keep them home to be on the safe side. Some kids do better in a classroom setting than trying to learn on their own on a computer. Some kids do great not working in a classroom setting. Either way we choose, parents are then face with the backlash from others by doing something completely different, because others don’t understand or agree with your decisions.
At first, I confidently made my decision to send mine back. Of course, I worry about Covid, but I know the schools will take extra precautions to making sure our children are safe and well. After all, they do so every other school year with any other sickness that goes around. My biggest concern with face to face though, is the change in the school environment. If my children were older, I wouldn’t worry so much. But mine are younger. They will be going into 1st and 4th grade.
Maybe if they got to finish out their Kindergarten and 3rd grade year, I wouldn’t be as worried. But, when my son was in Primary, I walked him to class every morning because it helped him feel confident. Once he got to Elementary, he was a big boy and didn’t need my comfort in the school hallways anymore. I intended to do the same for my daughter for as long as she needed me. (Not passed primary school might I add)
But, that all changed this year. In the Primary School, only Pre-K and Kindergarten will be able to be walked to class, but only for the first week. At least the Primary School will have an open house, unlike my son, who is going to 4th grade which is Elementary School. Once I found out he wasn’t going to have an open house, my emotions set in. What if he doesn’t find his class? He is always too shy to ask for help? He won’t even know what his teacher looks like until his first day.
Then, I thought of my daughter, questioning the same things. What if she gets confused walking in? She didn’t even get to finish out Kindergarten. What if she goes down the wrong hall, gets overwhelmed, lost and confused? She gets embarrassed easy, what if someone laughs at her? It didn’t help that I had just recently had a dream of her getting lost at school, and my heart broke.
As parents, we harbor all of these emotions for our children, well, I do any way. I remember how I felt when I was their ages at school, nervous and scared. I just want to be there to take it all away from them and make them feel better.
But unfortunately, I can’t. Even when they get older and go on their first job interview, I can’t be there to take away the anxiety and fear. They have to learn how to overcome it on their own. I will probably be the one who is most upset on the first day to be honest, but I will hold it together. How did I learn to hold it together? Well, it all started when I was young experiencing the same things they have to experience.
Of course, their experience will be different than mine. Their school year is about to change completely. They will have different rules and regulations than they are use to. Teachers will be wearing facemasks so the kids won’t be comforted by smiling faces. They will have to have their temperatures taken upon entering the school and randomly throughout the days. Recess and gym time will be different and parents won’t be able to come into the schools.
But, I know they will overcome it. My husband and I discussed that if it becomes too much for them, then I will take them out and home school. But I don’t think we will have a problem. I think the biggest problem though will be me over thinking everything as I always do.
Making decisions this school year is unlike any other school year. It is going to be hard, but we have to do what we as parents think is right for our children. Not what others think is right. My personal decision to send mine back is based on them needing the structure. I think they need the classroom setting and interaction with other students. I think they need to be able to handle authority from other adults.
Not that my children need it, they are honestly very well behaved kids (that’s not just coming from me, but their teachers and others as well). Even though I have contemplated the idea of homeschooling over the past couple of years, mainly so I would have more time with them and we could travel and take vacations more, but I didn’t for the sole purpose of the experience and making memories. School years are crucial in this age frame.
So, for me, I will be sending my kids back to school. For now that is. If it starts getting too crazy or if it’s too overwhelming, I will pull them out and home school in a heartbeat. But, that’s my decision and I will not judge another parent’s decision for their choice in the matter. Do what’s best for your kids. But know, it will be hard, but don’t beat yourself up on doing what you think is right for your child.
As parents, we always second guess our decisions on what’s best for our children. But, just pray on it, and do for your child that you know best.
God Bless and I hope all have a great school year!