If someone would have told me back in March that we would still be dealing with the Coronavirus at the end of August, I would have thought they were crazy! But here we are, at the end of August, our kids are starting or about to start school, and we are still dealing with Covid-19. Starting school during a pandemic, has been a source of stress for families, teachers, and even kids. This is truly a school year like no other. Not a single one of us has ever experienced anything like this. How do we start school during a pandemic?
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Starting School This Year
One of the most stressful parts of this entire pandemic, besides wondering if I would ever find toilet paper or paper towel, is what school would look like. My son goes to a private high school, while my daughter is in our very large (like 17,000+ students) public school district. From the beginning of this pandemic, the lines of communication has been fantastic with my sons private school. We knew, at the beginning of the summer, what the beginning of the school year would look like, depending on what phase of the pandemic our state was in. My daughters school, unfortunately, was a different story. We still don’t know all of the details and school starts on September 8th.
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The details we do know is that our daughter will be starting the school year at home with virtual school. Our son is at home, doing remote school, half the week. As you can imagine, setting up work spaces that both kids can do what they need, all while my husband, who is also working remotely, can be tricky. A few tips…
- Get good headphones for everyone. If noise is distracting, an inexpensive pair of noise canceling headphones may be a good idea. this pair gets really good reviews and it’s pretty inexpensive!
- A desk is essential. Even just a small folding table works!
- Consider upping your home wifi.
My husband works at a desk in our living room. Our son has a folding table set up in the basement with a blue sheet behind him (neutral background for his Zoom calls). When our daughter starts school after Labor Day, she will be working at her desk in her room. Having someone on each floor allows for each person to have their own quiet space, without distracting someone else.
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Tips for Parents and Kids
As a parent, I was pretty stressed out at what this school year was going to look like. I had mixed feelings about the kids going face to face; I had mixed feelings about the kids doing virtual; basically, no matter what was chosen, I was stressed! One of the things I have always done with my kids, is speak to them about situations that are out of our control, in a very matter of fact way. I have found that this alleviates stress for them and they are able to handle situations a little better.
Starting school during a pandemic is no different. My son has lucked out and is able to go to school half of the week and see some of his friends. On the other hand, my daughter still hasn’t seen her school friends and won’t for quite awhile. I’ve chosen to take a very “it is what it is” approach with her and while she doesn’t like what is going on, she is handling it very well. I firmly believe that if kids see and hear our stress, they will internalize that stress and then we have a bigger issue!