For anyone that doesn’t want to read the full post, the quick answer is no.
Before I get into this I am going to acknowledge that I do have a level of priviledge when considering this decision.
I work at home already, my daughter is in year 4 and not really a ‘priority’ year group, I don’t really mind crisis schooling her.
Not only that but I don’t agree with a lot of the national curriculum and don’t feel that kind of learning is a priority right now.
I am not judging anyone for making this decision, nor those whose children have remained in schools due to their position as a keyworker. I have seen a lot of frustration from these parents who say that school’s never closed for them and their children have continued going to school over the last couple of months. Whatever your decision, I am sure it is not one that has come easy to you, I’m sure it’s brought you worry and I’m sure it’s the best for your family and personal, individual circumstances. Who am I to say how you should parent your child in a global pandemic? This piece is my own experience, my own feelings and in line with what I feel is beneficial to my daughter.
My daughter is in year four so there isn’t a call for her to go back to school on June 1st. Her school is a two form entry junior at full capacity and I believe is planning to extend opening for year six pupils next month. I don’t know their exact plan yet but it is my understanding that the government plan to extend this to all year groups by mid june to allow for all pupils to get some time with their teachers. Its unlikely this will be full time schooling and with Evie being an older child I’m sure she will be able to understand the rules better than younger children, however, I worry about her ever growing anxiety and mental health with another big change.
Through all of this, I think the governement have done a shoddy job to be honest but that’s beside the point for this particular post. I keep hearing how great a job Denmark are doing but actually we have been on a completely different trajectory to Denmark in terms of those that have very sadly died of covid19. If anything we should be mimicking Spain and Italy in their lifting of restrictions. Even in France, where schools opened last week, did they see a spike in cases which have now had to close again. Personally, I just don’t see the point to send her back if everything will be different and schools risk closing back up again.
I know we all want a bit of normality but the reality is my daughter will be going back into a class that is not her teacher, without her friends. I’m also taking her feelings into consideration, she doesn’t want to go to school. She feels happier at home right now. I’m not bothered about her having to catch up in school and will help as much as I can when she does go back and education is somewhat back to normal. I don’t care how she does in a test that is only for the benefit of the government. Don’t get me wrong, I care about what my daughter is learning but as someone that sees so many major flaws in the national cirriculum outside a pandemic it just isn’t important to me. It’s important to me that my daughter learns to protect her mental wellbeing, it’s important that my daughter takes the chance to play as much as she can right now, it’s important to me that my daughter learns other skills and tries new things. It’s not important to me how many words she can spell, or if she can do long division when she’ll be able to use a calculator in any job.
For now, we will continue to crisis school until September when I hope a clearer plan for children and schools is available. I expect social distancing will still be in place but I hope everyone feels a bit calmer with the idea of a ‘new normal’. Honestly, it’d like to see a few other things go back to normal first to be honest rather than rushing school starts but I guess we will have to wait and see what happens next. One thing I’ve really struggled with is the government kind of keeping people in the dark and not coming up with a plan in the first place so people might take this a bit more seriously.
Whatever your choice, I hope you’re staying as safe and well as you possibly can right now.