Our family is in full swing with the back-to-school season. It looks different than years past, however, our calendars include homework, virtual teacher-parent conferences, dance classes, sports and activities, which are keeping everyone busy.
A month ago, my three children returned to school. My older two are remote learning the first nine weeks. They attend a large school district, and in July after our state experienced a steep spike in COVID cases, the district decided to go completely virtual. They attend class via GoogleMeet and their school days are structured with similar hours as in person learning. They are given Wednesdays off to complete homework and to attend teachers’ office hours.
My youngest’s school gave families a choice between attending in-person or virtually. Since no one in our family is high risk and the virtual option was a full semester commitment, we decided to send her in-person. Her class is made up of just 12 students since more than a third of the families chose the virtual option. She is required to wear a mask and hasn’t complained once. Things are going well thus far.
Despite these changes, we are humming along with a new rhythm to our days. I’m still working from home full-time, therefore, I am available to help my older daughters with school (although they are pretty self-sufficient). Their desks and work spaces are in their bedrooms on the second floor while my office is set up on the first level. They text me or call my name if they run into a snag. Most days, we have lunch together in the kitchen during their mid-day break.
"Despite these changes, we are humming along with a new rhythm to our days. "
We’ve recently added some extracurricular activities to the mix. All three are dancers and spend a few evenings a week at the studio. My middle daughter's school volleyball season was cancelled due to COVID so we signed her up with a non-school affiliated league in our city. It requires one practice and one game each week. For various reasons, we decided to forgo soccer and gymnastics this fall with our youngest. She expressed interest in golf so she is participating in a fall golf clinic twice a week. Moreover, my daughters have music lessons (piano and violin) and those take place in our home or virtually.
My husband and I feel comfortable with how our family has moved forward with the school year. We have tried to strike a balance between what is socially responsible with being mindful of our daughters’ physical activity level and mental health. It’s a bumpy ride with several moving parts, but we know we’re doing the best we can and that’s all we can ask of ourselves.
We'd love to hear how your family is fairing during the back-to-school season. There are no wrong answers--no one right way to approach this fall! Comment on our social media or email us at email@example.com.