17 July 2020  |

Dear Aunt Sevvy,

My daughter wants to homeschool her children this school year because of COVID-19, but I am worried about their social development! I believe it is important for children to have interactions with other children so they can develop their social skills. Won’t they be lonely at home all day? I have tried to talk to her but she just won’t listen! Help!

Signed, Upset Grandma

Dear Upset,

Parents, teachers, and students have all been put in a terrible position this school year. Many believe that schools should open and others believe they should not. Here are some things to consider. 

If schools open, whether full-time or part-time, for in-person schooling, there is no guarantee they will remain open for the whole school year. Some countries that attempted to open schools closed them again because coronavirus cases skyrocketed. (And no, children are not immune to this infection. While not as susceptible as older people, they can contract it, and some have died.) If schools opened and then had to close again it would create the same panic and disruption to the schedules that happened last school year, and that was a nightmare for everyone! If your daughter is planning ahead to school her children from home it might save them the trauma they had to endure last year. 

Even if schools remained open, how would the rules be followed? How would they be enforced? All children must wear a mask? They must socially distance? Children would be in school with their friends, but not allowed to play with them on the playground? One only has to spend five minutes in any elementary school classroom to see that these are not reasonable restrictions, and will be difficult if not impossible to enforce for an entire year. 

Do you trust schools to take these safety restrictions seriously, even if it means the children would not be allowed to play and interact with one another normally? And if the schools are not taking the restrictions seriously, then the children and the teachers, and all their families at home, are put at risk!

It sounds like your daughter has weighed the options, all of which are difficult and unfair for everyone involved, and chosen the one that she believes will be best for her children and family. 

The best any of us can do is what is best for us now, and wait for this pandemic to come to an end, one way or another. In the meantime, I pray that you will try to support your daughter. She has made a difficult decision, one that is likely to cause her and her children a lot of work. She will need your support as she, and millions of parents like her, are facing a very difficult school year. 

Good luck and stay safe!

Aunt Sevvy

You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without identities. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and neither her opinions nor those of her correspondents are necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.

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