At the beginning of June, Lucas returned to school after nine weeks following the global pandemic. When it was announced that reception, Year 1 and Year 6 would have the opportunity to attend school again, I battled with my conscience. Would Lucas be returning to school after CoronaVirus?It definitely wasn’t a quick decision.
Parenting is full of moments when you don’t have a clue what you are doing. Full of moments where you don’t know what to do for the best and I definitely didn’t. You want what’s best for your children but in a global pandemic, where so many people have died, do you risk their physical health by allowing them to be around other people? Alternatively, do you keep them away from their friends/education and risk their mental health? It’s a completely personal decision, unique to each family, their situation and the children in question. There is no judgement, no matter your decision. I just wanted to share ours.
A New Normal
One of the things I considered was what school might be like in September. I couldn’t be certain that it would be any different to June. In addition to this, I figured that easing him in, with less children first, must be better than returning in September with the full student body of his school. The normal we once knew isn’t going to be a reality anymore. In the last year I’ve learnt I can handle change better than I thought. It’s important that my children to not be afraid of change.
Last summer was Lucas’ first summer since starting school. By the sixth week, I could see his behaviour decline. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid. However, without the structure and consistency of school, his behaviour wasn’t as good as usual. Mainly he loses the ability to listen. Considering he’d been off nine weeks he had done amazingly. It was starting to feel like I was constantly telling him off and he was missing the stimulation of school.
A Break from Each Other
A huge positive of lockdown has been the bond that has developed between Lucas and Sienna. It’s been really wonderful seeing them play together and enjoy each other’s company. Sienna can be quite demanding on Lucas, she bosses him about and he probably gets a bit sick of hearing “Lu-shus” a million times a day like I get fed up of hearing “Muuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy”. He gets frustrated because she is only two and a half and still learning to play pretend. He has a meltdown because he made a den and she wasn’t using it as he wanted!
Lucas going to school means that he gets a break from her. It also means that Sienna gets some one-to-one time that she’s missed out on this year. It’s funny because in the first week of Lucas returning to school, I saw Sienna play independently for the first time. It was so lovely and she was so happy. Seeing them reunited at the end of school warms my heart. She runs towards him and they have a big cuddle. Cute AF.
What’s best for Lucas
Simply, Lucas going back to school was the best decision for HIM. He’s a very chilled out and adaptable child. I didn’t worry about him being scared by the changes in school. However I also took the chance to prepare him as much as I could. We talked about the bubble and that he wasn’t going to have his regular teacher. I showed him pictures about what his classroom might look like and we discussed social distancing some more.
As I write this, he has been back at school for three weeks. Honestly, I couldn’t be any happier with our decision. He has loved it!
I’ve been really impressed with the school and how they have handled it all. He really likes his new teacher Miss Brown. She regularly tweets pictures of what they have got up to during the day. He’s not phased by social distancing and said that he quite likes having a table to himself. On the first day, he said it was just like I had described. I felt happy that I’d done a good job in preparing him. The six weeks of separation for Lucas and Sienna will mean that we can enjoy the six weeks holiday. Hopefully, September will mean back to education for both of them as Sienna starts pre-school. That’s a topic for another blog post!
We take precautions. Lucas has a shower after school every day and he gets a full clean uniform every day. I don’t think it harms to add in some extra safeguarding, just in case.