Returning to School, or Something

Summer is coming to a close, and that means the school year is starting before too long. This has brought a great deal of consternation in our town as I'm sure it has across the state and the country.

It seems clear to me that returning to school in-person would be very dangerous for kids, families, teachers and staff. Thankfully our town, and most of Massachusetts agrees with this. Some towns are going to have hybrid schooling and other towns, like ours, will be entirely remote.

Any of these situations will be extremely difficult, perhaps terrible. I don't really know how we are going to manage having the kids home full-time while we work full-time and try to keep them focused on online lessons. We are fortunate in that we have good jobs and we may be able to hire a tutor or something like that if it becomes necessary (and if it seems safe.)

Logistics aside I am worried about the kids and how they are going to cope with remote schooling. My daughter did very poorly with the online lessons this past spring - she found them boring and repetitive and she basically refused to participate. My son may qualify as 'high need' or whatever they are calling it so he might get some in-person attention, but he is likely to struggle with the online learning. He has very limited attention span for things like FaceTime or Zoom and I have a hard time imagining him sitting through a whole remote school day.

I am worried about the kids social and emotional well-being. They have both been very lonely and attention-starved this summer, and a remote school year isn't going to help that very much at all. But I have faith in our teachers and other educators and I know that they will be doing everything they can to take good care of the kids.

But after all of that, I remain convinced that remote schooling is the best plan, at least to start. It will be very very hard, and it will be a worse situation for the kids than 'real' school, but it will be safe, and ultimately as long as we can all remain safe and healthy, we can get through to the other side.