Is It Too Early To Send My Daughter Back to School?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been just weeks since the world was brought to a standstill over coronavirus. Life as we know has changed and it doesn't look as if we will be getting back to normal life just yet. No one knows all the facts or understand enough, most of us are living on the edge at the moment. 

During the pandemic,  you have probably encountered coronavirus misinformation on social media or in the news. Whether it's coronavirus conspiracy theories or clearly faked screenshots to encourage public conversations, often leading to negativity or hate. We are such a long way from showing kindness with most being critical, spiteful and nothing seems to be good enough. Our world seems so different.

There are more changes to come and one change specially that has left a sour taste in my mouth. The reopening of schools. Is is really safe enough to phase reception, year one and year six back into school in June? It seems impossible to make informed decisions at the moment, as no one has all the facts! The world feels so uncertain and we are trying to get back to some kind of normality without all the solutions, so could it be too risky to send our children back to school? 

It's looking more likely that we will have to endure this way of life for weeks or even months to come. It is understandable that everyone is finding this time confusing and questioning their decisions over and over. As our daughter is year one we have been thinking about the possibility of her going back into school, and it's a decision that we have not taken lightly. 

We want a little normality, we want routine, we don't want our daughter's education to suffer. But at the same time her safety is absolutely paramount! It's our job to protect her and keep her safe. We both feel that at the moment in time, it is far too soon to even think about sending our daughter back to school. Although there is minimal risk with children and young adults, it doesn't necessarily mean that we should put them at risk to find out. 

The guidelines are clear in that we all need to work together to minimise the risk to stop the spread. However those guidelines have changed slightly and now you are allowed to leave your home more than once a day. But it seems as if most people around us have taken that as the lockdown has been lifted. I have seen groups of people together, families going to visit other families and the roads are getting busier. 

It scares me! Is all our hard work going down the drain the matter of two weeks? Will the second wave in winter time going to be catastrophic? My daughter is scared this coronavirus is going to take her loved ones away, she knows that people should be socially distancing, yet we go out for a walk and she sees that people are not listening. So if I am seeing groups of people together ignoring the advise, why would I ever feel comfortable in sending my daughter back to school? Have you ever told a four or five year old that they are not allowed to touch or hug someone? Everyone knows that little people are space invaders

My daughter's school has been so great with homeschooling, advice and amazing support. They have sent over a risk assessment to all those parents that have children in reception, year one and year six. Classes will be 8-10 children where they will have to eat lunch and play with these children only. Schools are reducing the surfaces, removing toys that are hard to clean as well as soft toys. Staggered schools days, packed lunches only, unisex toilets, strict hand washing regimes with their own hand gels and wipes. This is not, by any means, getting back to normal. 

I know that whatever way you look at this, our normal is never going to be the normal we all knew before this pandemic. The only thing that we can do is follow the guidelines to help and reduce the risk. And while I have control of my child, I will not be sending her back to school during this coronavirus until there are better safety measures in place. 

Will you be sending your child back to school?