The Orgasm Gap: ‘We have this frustrating myth that sex is easy and innate’

Aoife Drury

Single parenting in a pandemic: ‘I cry alone in the car so the kids don’t...

Lia Hynes

Author Ruth Gilligan: ‘I have slowly colonised our flat’s small second bedroom into my writing...

Sophie Grenham

About 400,000 women in Ireland have this condition and don’t know

IMAGE

The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Covid-19 currently has no women sitting on it. Why?

Lynn Enright

Clever (and totally reversible) home updates to transform your space

Megan Burns

There was meant to be a sixth and final episode of ‘It’s A Sin’ set...

Lauren Heskin

Grown-up gingham: how to wear it without looking like Bo Peep

Erin Lindsay

3 simple midweek meals the whole family will love

IMAGE

Image / Self / Parenthood

‘Why I won’t be sending my children back to school when it reopens’


by Amanda Cassidy
29th Jan 2021

Many of us are counting down the days until our children are back in school. But for some, the sharpened pencils will remain at the kitchen table. Amanda Cassidy reports.


We have spent months anxiously watching the numbers on the nightly news rise, and then decline, and creep up again. Little did we think when we waved goodbye to teachers mid-March 2020 that our children’s education would get such a bumpy ride.

Getting them back into their school routine to see their peers has now been prioritised. But as well as the focus on allowing our children back to a sense of normality, for some, there is also fear and confusion over the school return. And not everybody is prepared to take that leap of faith.

Adapted

Limerick-based Marion won’t be concerning herself with when they go back. After almost six months of adjusting to life outside the school corridors, her and her husband have made the decision not to send their ten-year-old son back to school at all. “He has absolutely thrived on the informal structures of home-learning,” explains Marion, an IT professional who continues to work from home herself.

“Luke has ASD and we have always tried to miminise the nose and distractions which he finds very overwhelming, especially at school. We wanted him to fit in which is why we focused on sending him in the first place, but after a few weeks of seeing how he has adapted so well to learning from home, it has made us reevaluate everything.”

Marion says both her and Luke have found a better way of learning and they don’t see a reason to change that. “Everyone is giving out about having to homeschool, which is really hard when you have to also work. But for our family, we actually found it easier and better for our son. I will meet with the teachers to discuss a formal home learning programme when things have settled down, but for now, this pandemic has helped us realise that having Luke remain in his own environment is far better for him.”

Reevaluate

“My biggest worry is that I will send them back, there will be an outbreak again and then they will close the schools and then we run the risk of having COVID in the house”

Treasa Ni Hoistín’s three children also found homeschooling a very positive experience. But her decision to keep her children at home is rooted in concerns about their safety.

Treasa says that for her two sons (10 and 12) and her daughter (15), the success of home-learning was that they found a routine and stuck to it. “We focused on subjects that they struggled with like sections of maths, and spellings,” explains Treasa who lives in Dublin 12. “My daughter who was in third year, found the live video calls with her teachers very helpful and easy to follow. We also did fun activities, art, and some sports too.”

Treasa’s biggest fear is that with the spike in cases currently, the Government might rushing the reopening. “I think it is going with a ‘let’s see what happens’ approach. With the large class numbers and small classrooms, my biggest worry is that I will send them back, there will be an outbreak and then they will close the schools and then we run the risk of having COVID in the house.”

And their family is higher risk when it comes to coronavirus.

“We have spent the last few months going by the advice of NPHET and restricting our movements, avoiding large crowds and following social distance. We all wear a mask where needed and we have been extremely careful because my husband is asthmatic and also has mild heart disease.”

Treasa says that all three of the schools that her children attend have been 100% behind her decision. “They have been really supportive to us and also to other families who have either high-risk children or parents. We are currently working out a plan for children who are staying at home, even though they are still awaiting some guidance from the government.”

“I don’t trust this system just yet”

Louise, a stay-at-home-mum from Cork has also decided to adopt a wait-and-see approach with her twins. “They are in third class. But I have a chronic respiratory condition so I simply can’t take that risk with numbers this high. Not now. I understand how hard all the schools are working to keep things as normal as possible for children but for me I need to wait it out a little. I’ll homeschool the twins and see how all the measures work out.”

I know there will be a tipping point over managing the risk and getting on with our lives, but I don’t trust this system just yet.”

For Treasa, happily, her children are on board with the new homeschooling arrangements. Treasa says they simply just want to minimise their risk of bringing COVID home.

“We have all sat down and discussed this with the children and they are happy to stay home and continue with remote learning. The hope is that sooner rather than later it will be safe to go back to school.”

Image via Unsplash.com 

Read more: What are back-to-school pods?

 

Also Read

Covid vaccine
BREAKING STORIES
Minister for Health: ‘Covid vaccine rollout possible before the end of the year’

The first Covid-19 vaccinations could begin before the new year...

By Jennifer McShane

HEALTH & WELLNESS
Move over Hygge, this is the latest wellness concept we are all obsessing over

Nunchi (pronounced noon-chee) literally means eye-measure in Korean. It is...

By Amanda Cassidy

premium REAL-LIFE STORIES, PARENTHOOD
‘Where’s Granny? She’s up in the sky. Well if I grow a pair of wings, can I fly up to see her?’

Jennie McGinn lost her mother Annie in October 2020. From an unusually large, and unusually female family, she writes about losing the centre of their family orbit and how she has managed parenting a toddler and a small baby while wanting to spend time completely submerged in her grief.

By Jennie McGinn

REAL-LIFE STORIES
Mother and baby homes: ‘I kept a photo of my son in his christening robe under my pillow until I met him 34 years later’

This week’s harrowing report into life at the mother and...

By Amanda Cassidy

PARENTHOOD
50 cute and sassy names perfect for your soon-to-be spring baby

Hey, Ivy. Hey, Robin. Spring is shortly about to spring...

By Amanda Cassidy

endometriosis
HEALTH & WELLNESS
An in-depth look at endometriosis: Causes, risks, symptoms and treatments

Dr Marion Gluck, founder of The Marion Gluck Clinic, the...

By IMAGE

Christmas craft kids
PARENTHOOD
Homemade Christmas crafts to keep the kids busy

As Christmas edges closer, it can be hard to keep...

By Megan Burns

ADVICE, HEALTH & WELLNESS, PARENTHOOD
Finding joy in the fourth trimester: resting and recuperating

By IMAGE