Excuse the delay, I’ve been meaning to post an update, but work has taken over and it’s been difficult to get free time for this blog. So, following up from my post about my own parental anxieties about back to school, here is how our first month of school is going so far.
I never imagined that when I went to pick him up from school back in March that was the last time it’ll be ‘normal’ again. After 6 months, my son finally went back to school on the 7th of September. Starting a new school year is hard enough for many kids never mind having to deal with a pandemic and following new rules. This year a lot of things have changed, so I spoke to my son about how we need to prepare and accept changes may come our way. I guess by doing this it will make things a lot easier and we can ’embrace’ the new normal in a different light, instead of worrying about it.
Back To School In Valencia After Lockdown
Two days before school started, I attended the parents meeting. We were shown a list of protocols and how they plan to keep everybody safe and what they will do just in case there’s an outbreak. Everything seems well organised. The teachers reassured us that they’ll do their best to keep everybody safe.
The first week back was relaxed. No homework, or classwork, the days were spent ensuring that the kids knew what they had to do when it came to the new rules. Which are the following:
- Arriving at school 10 minutes early so that they can perform temperature checks and disinfecting of hands.
- No sharing of school materials.
- The kids will have their own designated seat where they will stay until further notice.
- Surfaces like desks, chairs must be wiped down after every class.
- Windows will remain open for ventilation.
- Sections of the playground can only be used during break time and kids have to socially distance while keeping their masks on.
- Staggered playtime.
- Face masks must be worn at ALL times. Even in P.E.
- Physical education will be non-contact.
So far so good …
A month on, the kids seem to be adjusting to the new normal. Now he’s in ESO, class time begins at 08:00 am. It’s been difficult during the first week having to be up early. Six months of having no school routine have played havoc with our body clock. But it didn’t take us too long to adjust, we soon got used to the routine again. And it was actually nice to have some kind of normality again! Hoorah!
Being off school for six months also affected my son’s language skills. On the first week, he struggled a little with speaking Castellano/Valenciano. We speak English at home, so understandably he has ‘forgotten how to Spanish’ after 6 months of being isolated from his friends. However, getting back to it didn’t take too long, after a week he was fine, and back to his normal self.
After school clubs are also back on too. My son attends karate every week, which starts in October. I did worry whether it would be cancelled because of the distancing rules. However, this week his teacher got in touch and told us that the classes are starting again next month. Of course with new measures such as:
- New HEPA filters installed in the dojo.
- Separate lockers
- Temperature measurements before class
- Disinfection of the tatami floors after each session.
- Use of mask will be voluntary. (Thank goodness!)
It’s fine, just different…
Yes, my son dislikes some of the things that he has to do especially having to wear a mask in P.E and not being able to go near his friends. In regards to school work, that’s still the same. Tons of homework, no reduced class times and they are all expected to attend on a daily basis.
A month ago the thought of having to send my child back to school during this pandemic filled me with dread. If only homeschooling was allowed in Spain, I swear I would have given it some thought. But after speaking with other parents and teachers, and realising we all have the same worries, it made me feel a little bit better. A month on, we have a new routine, new rules to follow and the kids seem to have adjusted well. And I really have to hand it to them for having to wear a mask while doing P.E. I don’t know if I could do it!
How did you feel about sending your child back to school? What are the rules where you are? How is your family coping with the ‘new normal’? Let me know on the comments below.
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