Making the Right Decision for Our Family…
Now that the school year is upon us and many children are going back for in-person learning, families just like mine are faced with the difficult decision on if we feel comfortable sending our kids. This decision was not an easy one for my husband and I. We didn’t want to take this experience from Hayden but we didn’t feel 100% comfortable with sending our daughter to school during a global pandemic.
For those of you who read my blog, New Parents Guide to Preschool, you would know that we have been looking forward to Hayden attending school for quite awhile. We did all of the prep work way in advance, looked into all of the best, most highly sought-after schools in our area, set up tours, and did all of the necessary steps to make sure we got Hayden into our number one choice. We were both so excited when we found out she was accepted and were looking forward to the day she would start because we both knew that she was ready and up for the challenge.
When the deadline came to make a final, decision, it was important to the both of us that we took into consideration all of the pros and cons. Some of the aspects we discussed and considered were:
• The Schools Protocols Regarding Covid
• The Risk of Our Child Getting Sick
• The Risk of Exposing Family Members
• The Financial Commitment of Tuition
• How We Felt if Virtual Learning Goes into Effect Again
• Age, Academic Level and Overall Impact
• Alternate Learning Options if Necessary
This decision is very personal and can and will vary from family to family based on their circumstances. For us, we waited until the last possible day we could to withdraw in hopes that some miracle would change our mind. I think we both knew deep down what our final decision would be but neither of us wanted to pull the trigger especially considering all the effort and work it took to get her into the school in the first place. However, we still exhausted all of our options, asked our close family members and our daughter’s pediatrician for their opinions and took some serious steps to make sure that we were moving forward with what was best for our family and more importantly our daughter.
It is always best to consider what is right for your family. You are the only one who can truly make this decision.
The Schools Protocols Regarding Covid
Schools that have been permitted to reopen for in-person learning have protocols and guidelines that they must follow to ensure that they provide the safest environment possible. For details regarding this, visit the CDC’s website and check for additional guidelines in your local area.
It is important that you know what steps your child’s school is taking. Ask the administration staff questions and get details on the safety measures they will be implementing. You will also want to know what action plan will take place in the event a student or staff member gets sick. We outlined a list of questions we had and reviewed them with Hayden’s school director.
The Risk of Your Child Getting Sick
For us this is a major concern. Not only are cases in children on the rise, but we honestly don’t know or want to find out how our daughter would react to contracting Covid. Our daughter Hayden suffered from a febrile seizure back in February. Both my husband and I are petrified to see how this would play out for someone like her. Being that the number one symptom of Covid-19 is a high fever and high fevers are what can cause a febrile seizure in kids, this was something we had to strongly consider when deciding how to move forward.
The Risk of Exposing Family Members
This was a big one for us as well. Even prior to Covid, schools have always been somewhat of a Petri-dish of germs. Not only do we have a newborn at home, but Hayden goes to her grandparents house while both my husband and I are at work. We had to consider how comfortable we felt with the possibility of Hayden being a carrier and exposing her grandparents who are in one of the high risk categories or her newborn sister.
The Financial Commitment of Tuition
It is important to consider the cost if you are responsible for tuition. Is that expense worth it if some of the curriculum has been eliminated or modified to uphold the safety restrictions and guidelines that have to be implemented? How do you feel about the cost of tuition if the school is forced to go into a virtual learning platform again during the school year? The answers to these questions can vary from school to school. For us, we did not mind that some elements of the curriculum had been eliminated or modified, but didn’t really like the idea of potentially having to deal with virtual learning considering the high price tag associated with Hayden’s school.
How We Felt if Virtual Learning goes into Effect Again
After reviewing Hayden’s schools plan, in the event a child or staff member contracts Covid, they would immediately change to virtual learning for two weeks to make sure to stop the spread. Although a smart plan, it is very probable that this could happen (potentially more than once) throughout the school year. Due to our daughter’s age, the cost of the school and the probability that virtual learning is most likely inevitable at some point, this was something to consider. Hayden’s age and academic level does not make her the best candidate for this type of learning style and platform.
Age, Academic Level and Overall Impact
Both my husband and I felt extremely lucky when considering this factor and know that we have somewhat of an easier decision than most. Hayden is on the younger side of all her classmates and is early in her academic career. The overall impact that this would have on her long term is smaller than it is for someone who is older and at a higher academic level.
Alternate Learning Options if Necessary
As parents, we always want to give our kids a leg up and jump start towards their academics. We both did not feel comfortable with her skipping a year so we started to look into alternative learning options. We got her grandparents on board and have decided we will be ordering homeschool material so she can continue to excel, learn and be ready for next year.
Always remember that this decision is yours to make. You need to decide what is best for your family unit and what your comfortability level is. Just because we decided to withdrawal our daughter this year, doesn’t mean that doing the same would be the best for your kids. It’s important to discuss all of your options but most importantly to trust your gut. At the end of the day, you inevitably will make the correct choice for your family and child.