I do not need to tell you again how much the Covid-19 virus has disrupted our lives. Politically, socially, and economically, this man-made virus has reshaped our daily routine. Education is no different.
In the district that I live in, families had a choice this Fall to attend a hybrid in-person schedule (group A attends school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, remote the other three days, while group B attends school in-person on Thursdays and Fridays, remote the other three days), or opt for 100% remote learning. We chose the hybrid system because we had been remote since March and I thought that the social aspect of in-person schooling was important. I am not sure that I made the right choice for our son.
Everyone knows that routines are important for younger children, even for most adults. We sleep better, eat better, and feel better with a routine. The hybrid learning system in our school district has been the ultimate destroyer of routines in and out of school. At home, it is difficult to establish a school-night routine for dinner, bath, and bed with only a 2-day a week school week. While kids are in school for those two days, the regular teacher unloads a large amount of information (because they cannot teach new content on remote days) and then spends the remote days posting insanely easy worksheets to reinforce the content taught in class. Kids come home overwhelmed, exhausted, and not looking forward to returning to class. Additionally, on the in-school days, kids get music and art on alternating weeks but gym every week. Even though this is more elective learning than what we got from March to June, which was absolutely nothing, it is still not enough. The school district encourages reading, as any would do, but will not allow any students in the library. I suppose gym class ranks higher than using the library in our district.
Contrastingly, the remote learning students are learning new content each day, alleviating the information dump. Remote learners have the advantage of a 5-day a week routine at home and online at school. I realize that most families that have chosen the remote learning option are sacrificing a full-time job somewhere or paying someone to stay with their kids during the day to help them with any online issues that arise. Still, these families made the right choice. From what I have heard from other all-remote families, there is little stress related to education and the fear of contracting covid-19 is low. They are also ahead in the curriculum and seem to be teaching thoroughly.
In my household, getting our son, who used to love going to school each day, to go to school now is just plain difficult and emotionally draining. I thought that we needed the socialization that schools can provide. However, with the classroom divided into groups, kids spaced far apart, and not allowed to interact with other classrooms, he is not getting a lot of socialization anyway. He and his classmates are learning that people are virus-carriers and to be avoided. The amount of restrictions and rules in school are not worth the effort to keep kids and staff from contracting Covid-19. I remember just accepting that at some point during the school year my son was going to get sick, like catch the flu or coxsackie or lice! Healthy kids are resilient; healthy teachers are superheroes. Education is not meant to be a hybrid thing and it is the student that suffers. I say, open the schools 100% for five days a week or teach 100% remotely for five days.