School bags and coats piled and ready to go
Children, Health, Learning, Uncategorized, Work

Considering a Return to School

One of the reception mums just asked on our Facebook group who’s going to be back in school on Monday.

Only a few replies so far but most are staying home still, including small boy.

Considerations

There are lots of reasons for us, some selfish and others more community spirited.

For starters, trying to take small boy to school while large boy stays at home would be all sorts of mayhem. Under normal circumstances, they go to breakfast club together but on Fridays I drop them off for the start of school. It took months for drop off to not involve tears from small boy – simply because he was going in a different door from his brother.

Then there’s the rules they’ll have to follow while they’re there. For reception children, its asking a lot. They and the teachers will be so focused on keeping their distance and only touching their equipment that I doubt they’ll have much energy for learning. I know its likely that the rules will still be there in September but I think small boy will adapt to them more easily if his brother’s setting an example too.

Practically its tricky too. Our school will be open 9am to 3pm as usual. Key workers’ children can attend 8 til 4. Himself is a key worker so we could do that. But then small boy would be in a “bubble” with those mixed aged children all day every day – not with his class. Trying to do the school run at 9 and 3 would be very tricky for us to continue working effectively. Sure it would be possible, but on days when himself has to go into work it would be so hard. Its tough enough working and home learning without adding extra journeys into the mix. And home learning wouldn’t go away, large boy would still need to be working too.

Himself is needing to go into work more often, which means he’s mixing with more people and using shared spaces. That means there are increased risks both that he could pick COVID up and share and send small boy to school with it, and that if small boy brought it home he could then take it to work.

So long as we can support and care for the boys at home, that reduces the burden on school and the sizes of the groups of children there. That makes it easier for the children and staff who need to be there. This is the same reason we never sent them as key workers’ children. It’s not convenient or easy but it’s better for everyone.

We’ve considered all these things when deciding if this is the right time for small boy to return to school and decided that it isn’t yet. That’s our decision and it suits our family. Other people are choosing different things for their own reasons or the same thing for different reasons. Its important that we remain sympathetic and tolerant, try to be understanding, and most of all not dismiss, belittle or criticise people for making different choices.

Eventual Return

Thinking about September, I’ve realised that I’m really going to miss the boys when they do go back. Its totally hectic and stressful trying to work, care for them, and support learning. But it’s also lovely to spend so much time together. I went back to work when they were each 8 months old. We’ve never spent so much time together, laughed so much or chatted about such crap as well as such deep matters. I’ve loved watching them learn. Small boy’s reading and writing is stunning! Large boy just takes (almost) everything in his stride.

I feel like I know them better, I understand them better.

I’m going to miss the company, I’m usually OK being so isolated working from home, but I’ve grown accustomed to having chats with real people in the same room as me several times a day. Not just with the boys, I’ll miss himself too when he goes back into work full time.

Our “normal” weeks were always non-stop with swimming and rugby and Cubs and running. We miss being busy but I think we’re accustomed now to not doing very much. Taking those hobbies up again is going to feel pretty hectic after this period of freedom from timetables and plans.

What about you?

How do you feel about a return now? Or how you’ll respond to them all being back in September?

17 thoughts on “Considering a Return to School”

  1. I don’t think in India schools will start from September. Now kids are accustomed to online classes. they have learnt all the online classes manners!! teachers are doing great job too. And as usual lovely post to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure the school will manage the transition carefully. Ours started with half days last September. So small boy had nursery/preschool, holiday, a different primary school’s summer camp and then reception. He dealt with it fine. They’re remarkably flexible and adaptable, much more so than us. I’m sure your primary school will listen to any concerns and help both you and your little one feel comfortable. They’ll have an entire class in the same situation so they’ll doubtless be planning already for how to help them all settle in. I’m equally concerned about how small boy will fit back in come September. Half his class will be there next week, in two small separate groups. He’s missing out on the opportunity to build friendships, but for him going to school and leaving his brother at home would be much more upsetting. Good luck with your transition to school, I hope it goes well. X

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  2. Oh it is so hard. I am glad the decision has been made for me as mine is in year 7 and he will not be returning until September.

    I on the other hand, I work in a school. I am not fully ready to be back in work full time, I think it is too soon and if we can work from home we should continue to. I am in the office so could work from home but I am being told that is not an option, despite having a child. His high school seem reluctant to take him as a key worker so it falls to my partner to watch him during the day. He though, has a very busy job and is in constant zoom meetings and on calls to clients, This means he simply won’t be able to assist with home schooling.

    I feel very backed in to a corner. But I am keen for some normality.

    I will row my own boat. I will go to work but keep isolating the rest of the time. Stay away from family and friends as much as possible and wait and see how things go x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Year 7 is still very young to be completely independent regarding learning, let alone caring for himself through the day even if his dad’s in the house but working. Sounds like you’re stuck in a bit of a difficult situation.
      I guess we all just have to keep going as best we can. Could your son take 2 days off school work in the week and make them up at the weekend when you can support him? Doesn’t sound fun I know, but might reassure you and him? I completely sympathise and I’m about to discover the harsh reality of home learning with only one parent at home as my husband’s in the office this week.

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  3. I’ll be honest, I don’t have children myself but I do know that if this had occurred when I was small my parents wouldn’t have sent me back to school and this be purely down to my health conditions.

    However I do have friends who are teachers and also my partners father is a teacher and I know they’re particularly stressed at this time, it’s difficult to say “everything will be ok” when I have no knowledge if it will be or not. So I’m just trying to be there for them through this scenario, especially as I can’t work due to my industry being completely shut down still and my health. My personal opinion, I just think we are being rushed far too quickly into a normality 🙈.

    Quinn x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many things to consider. It’s awful. My son is in Y6 and so was keen to return, as there are friends he’ll see a lot less of as they go off to different high schools. He goes back on Tuesday, but is suddenly not keen, having found out the reality of what he’s going back to.
    For us, it’s a mix of fear and the need for some normality for him. We’re going to use it as an experiment – see how it goes and stop it if he wants to. We don’t really want him to go back, but we’re going to try.
    I’ll miss him terribly and worry about him every second.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so tricky. If we had a year 6, I think we’d give it a go. They’re so much more responsible and self aware, but probably also more stressed out by it all. I hope your son copes ok going back and adjusts well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is a complicated decision and I honestly think parents aren’t giving themselves enough credit for how difficult it actually is. My daughter is 13 and going into year 9 in September when she starts her options, she has learning difficulties in a mainstream setting and we made the conscious decision to send her back to school a few weeks ago for two days a week because she’s struggling to access her education via online learning. It wasn’t easy as her 9-year-old brother attends a special school and they are closed to all non-key worker children so it’s been a struggle to meet both their needs. Thankfully he’s happy having us all to himself but it’s highly likely he won’t be able to return until September, however, given the option I would like for him to attend one or two days a week in July for transition but it may be that they say he can’t return until much later in the year if at all due to his/. risk assessment.

    Had any of my children been year R or year 1, I think we would have had to consider them individually, as both my children are social butterflies. Don’t feel bad for making the decision that is best for your family! I’ve read so much on social media of parents being attacked because they have opted to send their children to school not fully understanding the circumstances. We know our children the best! Like you said your little one won’t understand why the big one isn’t going to school, never underestimate the effect that could have on him. We are all living in a time we’ve never experienced before, it would be impossible to have all the answers. Enjoy the time with your young family, they grow so fast!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for being so understanding. I am seeing stuff on Facebook with people going both ways and being intractable, almost judging others making a different decision which is just weird from my POV.
      I’m glad to hear your daughter’s been able to attend if that’s best for her. The schools really are being amazingly supportive and flexible to make sure their pupils needs are met. I know they’re now facing a juggling act between COVID rules and normal health and safety. It must be so hard for the staff.
      I am mostly enjoying all being at home, between the interrupted training sessions and highly fragmented days. I hope you’re doing well too.

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  6. It’s such a difficult one isn’t it. My daughter isn’t at school age just yet, but goes to a childminder who like schools will be open from Monday. We’re not in a position where we have another option but to send her unfortunately… Given the chance I’d definitely be keeping her at home with us.

    Claire.X
    http://www.clairemac.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally sympathise and we know how lucky we are that we can work at home with the kids here. School have emailed to say that they would ask non-reception children entitled to attend as keyworkers’ dependents continue to remain at home if they can. Even though the boys could go in, it would be selfish for us to send them just so we could work at peace. If we were obliged to work outside the home, we would have to send them just like you. I hope your daughter enjoys going back to her childminder and you readjust to work without too much trouble.

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