Sending The Kids Back To School Was a Good Decision (so far)

It was a huge struggle trying to make the decision to either send my kiddos back to school in person or to have them participate via remote learning.

Facing a deadline and the fact that my children really had enough of being with mom almost 24/7, I decided to let them attend school in person. It was nerve-wracking to put all that energy into worrying about it.

I figured we would have made it at least until Halloween before getting our first case in the school.

We’ve had 22 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our small school district since the start of the school year. We didn’t even make it through the first day of school without a Covid case, which seemed absurd to me.

The controversy surrounding reopening schools in the US now has some real experiences, numbers and facts to back up the push to reopen or to choose online.

Kingston shut down their school because one person who works in the cafeteria tested positive.

Many schools in Texas allowed their students to have a choice between in person attendance or online learning.

As it turns out, remote learners aren’t doing so well.

Whitesboro ISD decided to END the remote learning option except for those who need to quarantine. The SHOCKING FACT behind their decision is that 65-70% of the remote learners were failing.

When I told my kids that the remote learners weren’t doing so well over in Whitesboro, they said “yep, that’s common at our school too.” Honestly, I hope that our school district keeps the option open for remote learning because I’ve seriously been considering doing it for a six week period during the height of flu season, but we shall see.

I have to admit that I was surprised that the remote learners at Whitesboro ISD were having such a hard time. I’m wondering if their grades will improve once they are back in school face to face? Hey Whitesboro…let us know!

So now that some time has passed and we’ve gotten through the first six weeks of school in our family, here’s what is happening with us:

When my kiddos started back to the germ factory, it really took me away from my comfort zone. I was fearful of entering public places. At at one point in something like May or June I got up the courage to go shopping at Walmart. The parking lot was packed like a Black Friday, with only the senior citizens in masks. I sat in the parking lot for about 10 minutes watching people enter and exit. And just couldn’t bring myself to go into the store.

But my goodness how things have changed now.

flying out of the chair

School reopening catapulted me into overcoming my paralyzing fear of Covid-19.

I’m still cautious. I still scatter when people try to get too close to me. I still wear my mask religiously. But I do feel more comfortable venturing out more.

Some other changes that the school reopening has brought….Our laundry room now has a hanging hook for “dirty” masks and for “clean” masks. A year ago I would have thought you were insane if you would have told me to incorporate a laundry system for face masks as part of the educational experience.

My 9 year old has a collection of masks at school. Not sure if she leaves them there on purpose, but I bet some of them end up in the Lost & Found collection. I’m pretty sure she gave at least one of her masks away to a friend.

QUARANTINE!! Each of my kiddos has had multiple friends and teachers who have had to move to remote learning because they’ve been quarantined. I was afraid that quarantining would be the most disruptive part of the school year and I was correct. My kids hate having substitute teachers, and they’ve had quite a few of them since school started.

We had to quarantine for a week because I came down with the the worst case I’ve ever had of “the flu” or whatever mystery illness that the medical professionals pronounced as NOT Covid-19. Our school’s re-opening plan states that if anyone in your household is experiencing “symptoms”, then the kids cannot be at school.

So my kids did remote learning for a week and OH JOY.

The 11 year old said that I’m like Santa Claus with remote learning…I check the list twice to make sure they do everything they’re supposed to do. And I’ll take that as a compliment.

I had to quarantine from the kids, but this Santa was too sick to function for a few days. The synchronous learning requirements for the older kids means that they needed their own computer to participate in class as it’s happening. That part was GREAT because they had a specific schedule and didn’t need direction from me to know what they needed to do next.

The 9 year old’s remote learning format was less structured and needed direct oversight from me. The teacher worked with us to get her caught up when I was well enough to be around her again. Thankfully, my mystery flu was temporary and the kiddos were able to return to a classroom where the teacher didn’t have to quarantine from them or breath on them.

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