Sunday 31 May 2020

Family | Why I'm Not Sending My Kids Back To School

On the 20th March schools in the UK closed due to a worldwide pandemic, unless you've been living under a rock you'll already know this but I'm setting the scene okay? Before The Big Announcement that schools were actually due to close,  a lot of parents here had already made the decision to keep their children home, however, my two were still attending. The boys were at their dad's that week as I was in work so we hadn't really discussed it. The Big Annoucement finally came on Wednesday 18th March, so I met the boys with their dad to explain the situation. We'd decided they would still go into school for the remainder of the week  mainly so that they could see their friends, teachers and collect the WFH packs. On that faithful last day as I walked my two to into school as normal it felt anything but. The streets were quiet, it was eery and I felt so guilty for taking them in. Bear in mind we didn't know much about covid at this point and to be honest, I still don't think we have enough information. I was emotional when I got home and no I wasn't mourning the loss of my free time, I was sad for the boys. Sad that they wouldn't get to see their friends and their teachers. It's been a tough few weeks for us here, we haven't done much home schooling or had much of a routine and the boys really miss school and their friends. As of tomorrow schools are reopening here in stages, certain year groups are allowed back, George's being one of them, but he won't be going back. I'm going to tell you why I'm not sending my kids back to school. 

I don't believe it's safe. The death rate in the UK is still so high, as of today I believe there has been over 38,000 deaths according to the WHO website. You can check it here. Some of you may question this since I met my friend in the park with her two boys this weekend but like I mentioned in my last post the risk to them was minimal. Despite there not being enough information, the risk of children under 10 carrying covid-19 and becoming infected is considered to small and they are apparently less susceptible to catching. That of course doesn't mean they can't catch it. From what I've read it seems they don't tend to pass it on to each other or adults but can catch it from adults. I'm not going to link you to any articles because I've done my research here and you should do yours too because only you can decide what is best for your family. We also spent the afternoon outdoors and we know the risk of catching any kind of virus is higher when you're in close proximity to others, be it classrooms, places of work or even public transport. 

My main concern is that even though class sizes are being reduced, children at our school are going to be in bubbles of 15 so that if there is an outbreak it is easier to maintain. I personally don't watch George to be mixing with 14 other pupils and even though they may not be able to transmit covid to each other there's still the fact that they are amongst other adults. I'm also concerned that they'll be inside with all these other people meaning there is more chance for something to spread. I don't trust people, I don't know if these other families by children are being exposed to have been adhering to lockdown rules like we have so who knows what could happen? 

Another reason I won't be sending them back is because it would be another big change for them. So far, they've been taken away from all their routine and are getting used to being home. To throw them back into school for a month before they break for summer holdiays just doesn't seem worth it. Risk aside. Why interrupt them more? I think a consistent break before starting afresh in September just makes the most sense. I believe the only reason that twat of a Prime Minister of ours has made this decision is because he needs people to go back to work and restart the economy; many parents unfortunately won't be able to do this if their kids are still home. I'm in a really fortunate position where our working patterns work around our childcare provisions therefore we don't need to send the boys back, which unfortunately isn't the same for many other parents out there.

This post isn't to make anybody feel guilty in any way for whatever decision they've come to. I feel for those parents who aren't in the same position as us and do need to send their children back to school. I feel for those parents who are key workers and have had to send their children to school throughout all of this. And I feel for those parents who have struggled these many weeks. These are  just my decisions and what I think is best for my family. You know what's best for your and yours.

Stay safe 

Rachael xo

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