I was one of the biggest advocates for remote learning until my 15-year-old shut down due to the lack of social interaction. In the beginning, things were going well.
I was posting videos of how great things were going, and then after six weeks, my daughter shut down. She would no longer do her work, and after pressing her too hard, she ran away for half of the day.
It was an eye-opener. We had two children learning from home due to remote learning. Both girls are in high school, and both had different reactions to remote learning. I printed the work out in their learning room and handed it to them while explaining everything they needed to know. The one that graduates this year did a great job. Her teachers were surprised when she arrived back at school because she was one of their best remote learners.
However, the 15-year-old was a different story. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get her to work. Her grades were declining, and she was in danger of getting kicked out of her advanced classes. After being grounded for not turning in her assignments one day, she just said she no longer cared. She told me she was trying very hard not to start back self-mutilating.
Even though she had prior asthma issues, I had to make a decision. I had to figure out which situation was the immediate threat, and that answer was her mental health. After she was in school for about five weeks, one of her friends caught COVID. We had to quarantine her because she was around the child. After taking her to the doctor and getting her a test, she was fine.
She didn’t take her mask off around the child who had COVID, and she was only around her in the hallways. This is perhaps what stopped her from getting sick, or it could have been that kids do not spread it like adults. Today her grades are better , and she can reconnect with her classmates. It has made all the difference in her mental health. Was it scary, Yes. However, I wasn’t about to watch her commit suicide or go back to cutting due to my reluctance to move forward.
At the end of the day, this is a struggle that all parents will have to embrace. However, parents will not have to deal with the ramifications of missing out on needed instruction or social interaction. Talk to your schools and find out if they plan to deal with protecting your child from COVID. If you feel like they aren’t doing enough, bring it up with the school board, but don’t just wait it out. Waiting could come with a price.