To go to school or not to go to school; that is the question. My opinion is very clear. Our kids need school. They crave structure. They need the social element that school provides. With that said, the question we now face is, “What does that actually look like now that COVID is in the picture?” It certainly won’t be the same school experience they had just one short year ago. Back to school is typically an exciting season for both us as parents, and for our children. We take them back to school shopping for new clothes, shoes and school supplies. Summer comes to a close, but our kids are anxious to see all of their friends again back in the classroom. Each year they go back a bit older and a bit more confident, something we love to see as parents. None of us could have predicted the impact COVID would have on the education of our kids. This next month will certainly bring challenges for both us as parents and for our children, but it is something we must navigate with grace and patience.
I can’t help but wonder, are we doing our kids any favors by sending them back to what might feel like a concentration camp of rules so outrageous that it steals their excitement to be back in school, learning with their peers? Will there even be a true social element anymore, or is it easier to do online school and forfeit the opportunity to let kids be kids. Education is important. Having a fun, carefree childhood experience is important. In this day and age, it seems almost impossible to keep the global sense of worry and anxiety away from our children. There is such a wide range of emotions that we are all experiencing around the return to school, but we must remember that our children are looking to us, as parents, to be a voice of reason.

As parents, our first priority should be to make this back to school season as normal as possible for our kids. I feel for each of my children right now having to grow up in this crazy world. We have to be able to navigate it for them and maintain some semblance of normalcy. It isn’t easy for us. Imagine how it must feel for them. I encourage all parents to think twice before unloading any anxiety of fears that you have onto them. Be positive and help teach them the tools they need to stay healthy and safe. Our kids will mimic what they see in their parents. It is our job, now more than ever, to keep them focused on the big picture. As we know, this too shall pass. Know that I am keeping you and your families in my thoughts and prayers as we navigate the back to school season.

-Amber Duncan, Founder & CEO