Parents everywhere are asking “Is my child going to fall behind in school?” during the pandemic because of necessary school closings. The answer is NO and parents should put this worry aside.
Is My Child Going to Fall Behind in School?
I’ve been asked, Is My Child Going to Fall behind in School?, many times since the pandemic began so I decided to share my thoughts about the issue here on my blog.
I have worn many hats in my lifetime. In fact, I often do not know which hat I am wearing at any given time as I ponder what is happening in the world during the pandemic.
I have MOM thoughts, GRANDMA thoughts, EDUCATOR thoughts, LIFE EXPERIENCE thoughts, and many more. Sometimes I have them all at once and they don’t necessarily align – lots of scattered thoughts and conflict – just like most of you.
However, I can wholeheartedly declare without hesitation, when asked, Is My Child Going to Fall Behind in School?, I can adamantly say DO NOT STRESS ABOUT YOUR CHILD FALLING BEHIND IN SCHOOL. I can say this as a mom, grandma, and educator.
Why You Should Not Worry About Your Child Falling Behind
My Background as an Educator
When I was teaching in a deeply disadvantaged elementary school community in the nineties, I often had friendly debate with colleagues about the importance of homework.
You see, my students were coming from homes where they often did not have dinner; or they could be woken from sleep during any night by gunfire; or their parents could be arrested as they watched in horror.
There were students who only knew a lifestyle of abuse and neglect; or they may not have had parents or adults in their home on any given night. Very few of my students slept in a bed. I knew their realities because I visited the families in their homes.
The stories were in the newspaper everyday and I heard them on the news. And sadly, I listened to my 7-8 year old students share their fears with me.
As an educator, I did not want my students to be burdened with the responsibility of school work at home when they had real life challenges to face each night.
My Role as a Mom
During the years when I was teaching and my two children were in school, I certainly understood the stress that working parents felt as they tried to manage daily routines and responsibilities while also providing support for school work at home.
At times, it seemed we were giving up quality family time, recreational activities, and peace of mind due to school work. I wanted my children to play outside, run through the woods, spend quality time exploring together, and develop friendships.
School work seemed to replace our already limited family time. It was very stressful to find a balance of work and school and family.
As a working mom, I hated that my children were missing out on normal life experiences I had as a child. And I did not want other working parents to stress about school work at home because it can damage relationships and put stress on everyone!
My Thoughts as a Grandma
When I became a grandmother, I watched my own children and their spouses struggle with time and the responsibilities of the world. With each generation, the world has become more stressful, more active, more complicated, and more people suffer from mental health challenges.
I hate seeing my grandchildren in a position where they are dealing with the stresses of the world. They will face a lifetime of grown-up stresses when they are no longer under their parents’ roof. They should be creating memories with grandparents who won’t be around forever. Those memories are priceless.
Thus, as a grandmother, I do not want my grandchildren dealing with the stresses of the current pandemic. They should have nothing but a sense of security, love, and strength provided by their parents and grandparents.
So when I think, Is My Child Going to Fall Behind in School?, I am not concerned about my grandchildren because they are learning so much more than academics during this pandemic.
What Can You Teach Your Child?
So how do all my experiences and hats lead me to advise parents NOT TO STRESS ABOUT YOUR CHILD FALLING BEHIND IN SCHOOL during this time when they ask “Is my child going to falling behind in school?”
Considering everything, these are my best answers:
- Your child can learn coping skills from you during this time.
- Your child can learn teamwork from you during this time.
- Your child can learn compassion from you during this time.
- Your child can learn emotional regulation from you during this time.
- Your child can learn about HOPE from you during this time.
- Your child can learn many important life skills from you during this time.
Remember, your child is watching how you handle anxiety and stress during this difficult time in our history. Teach them how to adapt to life challenges and manage stress.
How You Can Help Them Not Fall Behind in School
You can communicate with their teachers; support the web-based/distance learning offered by your district; be patient with your school system because this is all new to them; stay in a routine and provide structure at home; provide your children with love, compassion, empathy, and patience; but do not stress about your child falling behind in school.
They are going to return to school when this is over and they will go on being kids! In twenty years, the academic learning they missed during this pandemic will not matter – but the life skills you teach them will!
And please do not forget, children all over the world are in the same predicament as your child in regard to their education. They are all missing direct academic instruction but they are learning so much more that will help prepare them for LIFE!
Final Thoughts: Is My Child Going to Fall Behind in School?
The simple answer is no. You can provide your child with so many life skills and important coping skills during this crazy time in the world. You should not be worried about your child falling behind right now. Be concerned about taking good care of yourself and your loved ones.
U.S. News released an article recently about parents worrying about their children falling behind in school. It contains a lot of data and statistics, but I found the emotional side affects of worried parents even more alarming. The world is too scary right now to add more worry to your life.
For more posts about education, you can click on these links:
Love to ALL! ~Susan