It was back in March when the kids went on spring break. At first it was going to be the normal week. Then because of COVID-19, they extended it an additional week. Then, in 2020 style, they were going to be learning at home until further notice. That stretched for the entire rest of the school year. Now came the big question: what about fall?

As cases rise everywhere in The Northland, we are faced with the tough dilemma of what we want to do as parents next month. We're in the Superior School District, and they've taken surveys from parents about what we want to do. Then they came up with a plan. We can either have them learn 100% at home, or a hybrid model where they attend classes for a couple days a week and at home learning the rest of the time.

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My gut reaction was 100% virtual learning at home. Every school year our house battles illness from colds, flu, strep throat, pink eye, stomach viruses, etc. That's all in a normal cold/flu season. Honestly, since the kids have been out of school in March, nobody has gotten sick. That's never happened in a spring before. It's amazing. But, I guess that's what happens when you don't have kids picking up germs and viruses at school.

As soon as I said out loud, "100% virtual at home learning" it was followed with "but how are we going to do that." It's already been so difficult trying to work at home with the kids there as is. I love them, it's great to have them around, but man is it hard to get things done. That's even with a kindergartner and a 6th grader. I can't imagine having a toddler. They're at home learning this spring was almost pointless it felt. They were on the computer for an hour and a half, and then basically sat around the rest of the day. Sure I could give them crafts and activities and scavenger hunts, but at the same time I'm trying to get my job done while my wife is working out of the home at her essential job.

We've been seeing changes in our kids too. Part of it could just be normal kid phases of growing up, but like us they are a bit moodier (we've all had our own personal meltdown moments since March.) Some of the changes are good, like they actually play together now despite the age difference. Even so, we can see they need to be socializing and have somewhat of a routine. It broke my heart when my daughter told me that when she's riding on the tube behind the boat that she pretends her friends are with her because she misses them so much. Wow, right in the feels.

So as much as I dread the outbreaks, for sanity we are going to at least try and send the kids to school and hope for the best. Elementary class sizes are small, and they're taking wednesdays off to sanitize the school. Only half the middle school class will be allowed to attend. They're taking the precautions that they can, but we will just have to see. It's not a great feeling knowing September is coming, but what else are we supposed to do in our situation?

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