Ally Santana/Courier Amanda Santana during pre-k online class at home. Her expression depicts the splendid time she is having.
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It has been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the entire world in a shutdown and reopening frenzy, specifically schools. CNN posted where states in America chose to reopen their schools. Having schools closed is keeping children of all ages away from in-person social interactions with their friends. However, with the uncertainty of COVID-19, it’s probably safer to teach children from home.

According to Psychology Today, developing great social-emotional skills earlier in life can lead to educational and career success. Joseph Magliano, PH.D., is one of the authors of the Psychology Today article along with Angele Grippo, Ph.D. They list five strategies for promoting-social emotional learning in children.

Out of their five strategies, none suggest that children must be in school to create great social-emotional skills. In fact, one of the strategies talks about the importance of giving children choices. The article states that “giving children the independence to make choices is linked to higher levels of social-emotional learning.”

Parents should allow their children to decide to go back to school in person or at home instead of choosing for them. Homeschooling is nothing new. It’s been around since the late 1970’s. Business Insider lists reasons why homeschooling could be a better way to teach children.

One of the reasons Business Insider lists is that social media can help students make long lasting friendships. Students use various applications such as Instagram and Facebook to help them meet up with other homeschoolers. 

Using social media video tools like Zoom and Google Meet is a great way to keep children interacting with friends. Homeschooling also allows for parents and children to have more of a flexible schedule. This can be a great benefit for children who have a slower learning level.    

However, for some children there is an unfortunate dark side to being stuck at home. These are children who live in domestic violence households. Children can be victims themselves or witness the violence between their parents. The World Health Organization states that domestic violence on children can lead to lifelong impacts such as negative coping, health risk behaviors, not being able to hold down a job and affect cognitive development.

Schools are often safe environments and considered an escape for children who are suffering through domestic violence. Because of the fear of shame, domestic violence victims rarely speak out. This happens more in younger children whose views of themselves are still forming. Most people will never know if their child’s friend or classmate is suffering. 

The possibility of domestic violence in the home is a good reason to have community support and find ways for children not to stay in the house all day. Homeschooling doesn’t have to mean keeping children away from in-person meetings entirely, there are ways children can still enjoy social interactions with their friends in person. Perhaps parents could take turns hosting a small social distanced group of children to learn at their homes. Parents with preschool age children can also choose to set up play dates in a small group setting.

It can be challenging for parents to teach children and work from home at the same time. Even so, parents should think of having their kids stuck at home as a great reward and spend as much time as they can with them. Kids grow up so fast and with the little time people have on this Earth, these moments should be cherished.

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