With schools across the country increasingly moving in the direction of online-only attendance in the fall, many moms are asking: “How do we make this work?” While homeschool pods, cutting back hours at work and other creative solutions may be a temporary solution for some families, there are many others for whom these options are not on the table. And there’s no doubt that moms are unfairly shouldering the brunt of this crisis (as we are so often expected to do). In this month’s Voices interview, Meagan talks with Anne Halsall, co-founder and CPO of online child-care directory Winnie; listen as they dig into issues around work, parenting, and inequality that this pandemic has uncovered—and discuss some reassuring news about the safety and availability of licensed daycare to fill some of those gaps.
After listening to moms around the country share their feelings about schools re-opening (or not), Meagan and Sarah continue the discussion we started last week by looking at the challenges facing families this fall. We touch on the core drivers of school decision-making–academics, childcare, kids’ social-emotional health, and community health–and talk through the pros and cons of some of the likely learning scenarios on the table for kids. Just like last week, this is an inclusive conversation meant to bring encouragement and understanding, no matter where you are in your school decision for Fall 2020.
Virtual, on campus, hybrid, or homeschool? For many families, it isn’t even a choice; it’s whatever the local district decides. For some families, opting out, changing schools, waiting an extra year, or enrolling in an independent study program are options that are still on the table. For everyone, it’s an extraordinarily confusing, stressful, and uncertain time to be looking ahead at Fall 2020. With inclusion, empathy, and nonjudgment leading the way, Meagan and Sarah kick off a two-part series unpacking the challenges of sending kids to school this fall. We talk from personal experience about our “plans” (ha!) for our own kids, and we also bring you the voices of more than a dozen listeners who share what things are like in their communities.
In hindsight, was the worry worth it? That’s the question Meagan and Sarah are looking at in this week’s episode, as we bring back a popular series all about things that stressed us out as less experienced moms. From nutrition and discipline to kids’ friendships and developmental milestones, we look at the worries that kept us up at night and how it all turned out in the end.
So here we are, fellow moms: Accidental homeschoolers armed with Pinterest ideas and daily schedules, ready to keep our children’s minds active and their screen-time limited. We’ve bookmarked all the sites and printed all the checklists (unless we’re low on printer ink), and now begins the actual work of overseeing remote learning while parenting in a time of national stress.
Can I gently suggest that we not turn this new venture into a competitive sport?
From August through January, life is action-packed: we’re on the go from back-to-school through the holidays, and we enter the new year with high aspirations. And then, in the face of that long stretch between mid-January and spring break, things get back to normal – really normal. It can be a relief to return to familiar rhythms, but how can we do that without slipping into autopilot and missing out on special moments with our kids?