August has truly been a rush. I’ve been blanketed by calls from parents who are somewhat panicked about how to best support their young children. The situations are a bit all over: hybrid models but kids who can’t learn anything stuck to a screen all day, full distance learners with working parents smart enough to know their own limitations, and parents with schools plodding forward with more traditional plans who would like a little added course assistance. While all fundamentally different issues, the all have one similar trait: anxiety.
As the parent of two school-aged children 4 and 8, I know this anxiety well: will their brains atrophy staying at home? Will they become maladjusted future citizens? Will I be able to manage a home office with the rowdiness of a WWF cage match occuring on the other side of the wall? If my wife and I send them in, will we be risking their lives? Will they spread disease to us or our toddler? Will the quarantine educational experience traumatize them more than it’s worth? The questions spin about in my head like drunken hamsters on wheels, no relief in sight.
I’m actually better off helping to solve other parents’ challenges: that at least feels more tangible and attainable. If I provide them the right magical tutor, at least I have empowered one other parent like me, made one small difference to this contemporary world of shit. Perhaps one child at a time, we can get through this, but it is difficult to see it from here.