Our local school district gave two options for this year’s school year: 100% virtual or 100% in person. After weeks of debating the merits of all the options we heard about around the country and after one week of carefully considering the actual options presented by the school, we made the decision to keep Little Miss Minion home this semester for virtual kindergarten. I am in no way saying that this is the best choice. All the options suck, for everyone. Everyone wants the best for their kids, and I fully acknowledge that we are lucky to have this option. So I write this post with the disclaimer that it contains my personal opinions and observations about our particular situation.
To the parents who are sending their kids back to school in person—you made a great choice.
To the parents who are keeping your kids home to go virtual—you made a great choice.
To the parents who are pulling their kids from the districts and doing homeschool on their own—you made a great choice.
Little Miss Minion’s pediatrician said that her lungs have likely matured to where they should be, given her respiratory illness history over the past two years. I don’t want to test this theory, but two winters ago, she had a runny nose that lasted approximately 12 hours and gave the bug to me, where it turned into a double ear infection, bronchitis, infection-induced asthma, and almost pneumonia. So clearly her lungs work better than mine on certain things. 😂 The doctor also said that she recommends mask wearing, frequent hand washing, and social distancing wherever possible to reduce the chances of catching or spreading the virus.
The fact remains that the county we live in is seeing a large uptick in cases. The schools have developed a rigorous list of precautions that will be put into place to prevent transmission. The combination of these two facts is going to make (in my opinion) a very unstable situation for consistent education. Between students being sent home for every runny nose, fever, cough, sore throat, headache, stomachache, and generally not feeling well, the teachers and staff will also be held to the same standard. Any symptoms will require a 72 hour quarantine at home after the symptoms are gone without medication. So if a student is sent home on Monday for a fever and the fever disappears the moment they exit school property, that student is not allowed back until Friday. Same thing for teachers. It is only a matter of time before there are either not enough staff to cover the students or not enough students to justify staying open.
The way we saw it, it was not so much a question of virtual or in person. It was a question of her being home from the start, with a consistent schedule and organized setup, or going to school for a few weeks, then getting sent home for a few days, then going back with a new teacher, then being sent home again, and then having to continually arrange a space and provide structure.
We are incredibly lucky that I was already planning on being home for nursing school. We were able to create a space in our basement for a shared classroom. One side is the Minion Kindergarten Academy and the other is Virtual Nursing School. The kindergarten side looks pretty good so far. The nursing side needs a little work—I had been planning on working in our office. I do have an amazing computer shelf that Mr Minion made for me to set my computer on during class. I also made a tea table area over by Miss Minion’s playroom. I’m going to move one of our kettles down there, along with a selection of tea, cups and saucers, and space for a thermos of ice—Miss Minion doesn’t like to wait for her tea to cool.
We are also incredibly lucky to have Mr Minion’s parents able to assist. With him at work, and my clinicals schedule still up in the air, they will be able to take her on those days and continue her virtual school at their house, since school goes wherever her computer goes.
We’ve had a lot of “it shouldn’t have gone this way” in our lives with Little Miss Minion. From her complicated birth, to her infection in the NICU, to her hydrocephalus, to coming home and not being able to have her around people…the list goes on. We are used to it by now, but that doesn’t make it easier.