We make a million little choices every day. Ones that we don’t even think about that much. Like what to have for lunch, or what shoes to wear. Sometimes we have to make bigger choices. Life changing choices. Sometimes we don’t even know if the choices we make are going to end up being big choices or little choices until years down the road when we look back at the choices we ended up making.

The pandemic has been going on for months now. People are wearing masks. Many schools and businesses are closed, or partially closed. Social distancing is the new normal (or at least it should be). The new school year is just around the corner, and decisions have to be made. How to best protect ourselves, our loved ones and our friends? A million little decisions, as well as larger ones are being made every day about how we’ll live our lives amidst the pandemic.

Schools are talking about what learning will look like in the fall. Will it be virtual all school year? Will students attend in person? Or is a mix of the two the best option? When I look back, will this have been a little decision or a big one? It sure feels like a big one in this moment. I get to choose if I want my child to start his Freshman year in an all virtual environment, or one that may allow him in person class time once ‘the numbers’ start trending downward. If I make the wrong choice, whichever one that is, how will this change his life in the years to come?

Each learning option has pros and cons. Virtual seems to offer more stability and consistency with his teachers, but then he misses out on social interaction. Virtual offers more flexibility as far as getting projects done at his own speed, but requires him to be more responsible for his own tasks than a classroom setting. In person learning exposes him to a virus with unknown long term effects, but he also will get a fuller more in depth learning experience. Not to mention the help that he gets in person through the Special School District that will be difficult if not impossible in a virtual setting.

I know I’m not alone in this. It seems like every parent is weighing all the options. Either choice could be the right one, or it could be the wrong one. As parents all we can do is the best that we can, and remind ourselves that all parents and students are in similar situations. We all want what’s best for our kids, even when we don’t know what that is.


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