Friday 15 May 2020

Should I Send My Child Back to School?

It doesn't matter how hard you try, there is no escaping the current situation happening right now in the UK and across most of the world too.

The current lockdown measures have seen us all staying home, keeping our distance and only leaving the house when absolutely necessary. But last week Boris made the announcement that he was to begin relaxing those measures, but one thing that really stood out to me was his announcement that some children could begin going back to school in just a matter of weeks!

Now I will hold my hands up and admit that home-schooling or whatever it is that we should call the kind of education we are trying to provide at home, does not come naturally to me or to many of us. Trying to teach two children who are in two completely different stages of their school lives (one in year one, one in year five) at the same time was never going to be easy. But throw in trying to work alongside that and we have all struggled and had to find our own rhythm to get stuff done.

I will also hold me hands up and admit that I have joked since the kids broke up from school that I couldn't wait for them to go back, for quiet and tidiness to return to my home. A sense of routine and calm sound very appealing when your home looks like an explosion in a toy store and seems to run at a constant sound level of 100+ decibels!

But when I heard and saw the words on the TV about kids going back to school, honestly my heart sank. I have so many questions running around in my head, and a huge decision about whether to send my child back or not now weighing on my shoulders.

It seems crazy to me that we are saying that our children still cannot see their grandparents or their friends BUT they can go mingle with a group of maybe 15 other children and at least one teacher in a school environment? If my child can mingle with these children at school does this mean they can then have play dates and trips to the park with these children too? Where do we draw the line?

Who will be there to hold my child's hand when she feels nervous about going in? Who will comfort her if she falls or trips? The simple answer is nobody, our children will have to adapt to a new normal. How can anyone expect a child so small to understand that they must stay in a designated "zone" to play and that they can only interact with certain children in their "group".

And really importantly who is looking out for all the teachers in this? Who is going to ensure they have enough safety equipment? These same teachers who are putting themselves at risk, who then will have to go home to their own families and children. Is it fair to put this on them too?

Of course we all want the best for our children and that I think is the biggest dilemma that will be sitting with many parents right now, myself included. Do we trust that our schools will have enough measures in place to keep our children safe, that the government will provide them with enough support to do this. Like many I worry about how the lack of school will effect my children's education, not just now but in the coming school years too. As hard as I try home-schooling just isn't my forte, I am trying my best but nobody can really and truly recreate the enrichment, knowledge and support they get from school.

Honestly right now, to answer my initial question... I just don't know.

I don't know what is right or wrong in this situation. If I am honest I am leaning towards keeping her home, I mean my other child will be home anyway and her safety must come before anything. Plus if I am really honest I don't think she would cope with the changes put in place anyway. She already struggles to go into school without some help from her teacher, she often has one to one or small group lessons to help her learn, she loves carpet time and hugs and holding hands and honestly without all that I think school would be a terrifying place for her. Is it really fair of me to put all of this on her when it isn't even compulsory? How will this effect her going forward into subsequent school years or her overall feelings about school.

But then again, when will be the right time? What if September comes around and we are still in the same situation? What if this is the way school will be for the foreseeable future? I just have so many questions and not many answers. They are the questions with no answers apart from "wait and see" and I guess the question we all have to ask ourselves is are we ok with that?

I think when push comes to shove we all have to weigh things up for ourselves. Every parent will have different thoughts, different reasons, different worries and fears and different parents will make different choices. Some parents will be left with no choice but to send their child or already be sending their child due to their working roles. Ultimately what is right for one will be wrong for another but in these uncertain times we all just have to do what we feel right. There really is no right or wrong answer or decision.

Lets not forget schools across the country are facing their own issues from primary, junior and secondary schools to boarding schools in Berkshire and across the country. Schools want to see the safe return of pupils just as much as we want them to be safe too. I cant imagine how hard it must be for everyone involved in making the decisions from a school perspective too!

Do you have a child who has been offered the chance to return to school? How are you feeling about the situation?



  1. This is such a tough subject, I know parents are really concerned about the safety of their children. I think it is really each parent's decision whether they send their kids back or not, hopefully the schools will be sensible and not force the issue.

  2. I'm gonna put my hands up and say I am rubbish at homeschooling. I want my kids to go back but only when it's safe to do so and I doubt that will happen in the next few weeks.

  3. This is such a difficult decision to make, especially for younger children who are not yet able to understand the concept of social distancing

  4. It's so difficult isn't it. I'm with you, I don't really know what is best. Luckily we are in Wales so there's no sign of schools going back yet, I'm sure it will be September.

  5. This is such a difficult situation . I totally understand your fears. I too if I was in this boat be confused to make the right decision .

  6. This is a really interesting topic. I look at it as a teacher as I’m not a parent and it’s such a hard decision to make. I think none of us expected to make it so soon into the pandemic.

  7. I completely understand your points and I think we all feel like this. I really am not sure what to do if mine have to go back in July.

  8. Reading your post, you basically put my thoughts and concerns into words. I don't know either and at the moment I am hoping both mine don't go in until September at least.

  9. This is such a tough one and I really understand where you are coming from on this. I am not sure what I would do to be honest x

  10. My heart also sank when I saw the news about kids going back to school. I think it is far too early and know that many of the staff at our local school think so too.

  11. I'm being guided my kids on there learning at home, and while its tough I would much rather have them home safely with me than back at school. I have already told ours that they won't be returning until at least September.

  12. I have to go back to work (in a pre-school) therefore my kids will be back to school. It won't be the school that they are used to though as they will all be in social bubbles of no more than 8 kids with one teacher

  13. This is such a tough decision to make, I think you have to do what is right for you in your situation and for your kids.