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Working moms / B&M schoolers - what will your kids be doing during school closure?


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I work at home, so no childcare issue, but my kids and all their friends are upset about being isolated for [at least] 3.5 weeks.  Some questions:

  • Would you suggest the kids getting together at all?  If so, under what conditions?  (They don't live close enough to walk or bike to each other's homes.)
  • My kids each have a music teacher of grandparent age giving them lessons one evening a week.  Should I call the teachers and ask their preference, or just cancel unilaterally?
  • Restaurants - yea or nay?
  • How will/would you spend the hours of found family time?
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I'm not your target respondent, but...

No, I wouldn't let the kids get together. Maybe if there's one family who lives very nearby who is also committing to limit interactions to just your family then for mental health reasons, that might make sense. But generally, no. I especially wouldn't let them round robin their social interactions.

For the sake of the older teachers, I would cancel. Don't give them the option.

No restaurants.

We're going to try and play more board games.

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I wouldn't get together.  If you can pay for the music lessons but don't use them.  It is in the budget anyhow and I imagine people are stressed enough without financial stress to add to it.

I have one at school and one home but schools are open here.  I suspect I would let them get together with their 2 closest friends as I work with their mothers anyway.

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Well, not who you asked as a current working mom, but here is my .02 which seems in utter and complete opposition to the vast majority of this board and the media (probably 99% of this board) regarding this entire to-do, so obviously take that into consideration on all fronts. So I'll be the outlier for what everyone else is going to tell you. 

Call the old lesson person. Offer to cancel- give them an out and let them know you'll return when the normalcy returns and they are comfortable with resuming so it's not an either/or "our business is gone forever if you say cancel!" which may lead to them simply agreeing out of pressure . That would be bad. But do let them answer what they want to do. Respect the answer. It's their choice if they say okay please let's continue,and you're okay with your kids still going. If that's the case go. Save someone's income, at least a bit. They're adults. If they said "hey go ahead and come, it's not our job to decide for older people like they're some sort of imbeciles we can pat on the head and say "there, there, clearly you aren't reading what I am, as I am so much wiser......" (not to mention I don't think you are that kind of person to condescend to someone ever, so probably doesn't need saying, but tends to be a prevailing trope at the moment). 

Heck yes, have kids play with kids if no one in your household has co-morbidities to put up extra risk. Kids shouldn't go into John Travolta level bubble boy isolation here. Not a single thing- not even they most hysterical, over the top estimate I've seen to dae- can legitimately claim that kids (under 10 particularly, but even under 19)  of a normal immunity level are at any risk what-so-ever. You're the bigger player at risk here in your household if you are post 40 and any roommates in the same boat. Decide off your and your roommates comfort zone, acknowledging the kids have been in school this whole time, so........Horses don't often proclaim ahead of time that they are running out of the barn, if you get my drift. The horse is gone. He's out of the barn.  He's on the race track well past the first quarter mile mark.......good luck getting him back until he's run his race. 

I am willing to bet vasts amount of money that people suddenly thrust, unprepared, into kids being home 24/7, daycares closed , and being home from work on top of it,  are going to be looking for the kids outlet, as are kids who are used to school with friends 35+ hours a week and are used to breaks being structured with camps etc. with working parents and guessing they'll miss the camaraderie and drive you and their parents bat guano crazy in the process if we are talking weeks on end here. I mean, they were in school together as of so many hours ago, so there's that. Guessing no one is traveling? So maybe form a support group where y'all can shift houses to let someone catch up on work while the other kids go to a designated house to play on their playground or whatever. That would give everyone some sort of break. 

Go to restaurants. A lot. Especially if you plan on them- or their vendors- still being around when this is done. At least order to go. Tip as well as you possible can. These people are screwed. 

I live and breathe family time 24/7 as a homeschooler, so nothing is going to change except not going to see the grandparents as often until we are back for two weeks, so can't really help you with that part...... But anyway there is your answer from the whatever percent that isn't going into isolated mode. 

 

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In our house I am high risk so the kids are more worried about me.  "Don't worry it only effects older or compromised people" doesn't comfort when the two prominent people in your lives are 50+ and 70+ and chronic asthmatics. 

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The main problem will be for people who can't work at home and can't not work.  They will end up having to share care, hire sitters or leave the kids alone.  The first two will be just as likely to spread the virus and the 3rd is not that safe.

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I'm keeping my neighbor's toddlers most weekdays because their childcare is closed and they both must work.  They're working their schedule hard, but they need the help. 

 

 

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We’ll just slip back into our former-typical homeschool routine. It won’t be any problem for DS to get his lessons online, and his teachers will make themselves as available (remotely) as possible. They have been talking contingency plans in each of his classes.

DH can work from home without any problem. He’s bringing his laptop home every night just in case.

I work in a very small office (just myself and my boss). I’m unclear if my job would continue if everything around us shut, but I have a couple options if it does. I can do most of my work remotely, and for the rest I could request to be in the office alone. It’s tricky though, my boss is one of those who is on one hand is freaking out (and projecting his feelings onto me, as he does) and on the other thinks it’s a hoax. I cannot talk about it with him in advance, but I’m not too concerned. I’ll take care of me first.

In the OPs situation, a hard no to friends (that really would defeat the purpose), cancel all outside lessons (again, your community is asking to keep distance), no to restaurants. I honestly feel like if our schools and communities are asking us to make sacrifices for the common good, we need to ALL do that. 
 

Can the kids get outside? I can imagine us going for walks in the woods, to the beach and so on to get some movement and release stress.  Unless you are actually quarantined, I think hiking, cycling, kicking a soccer ball around and so on would be safe, if you have uncrowded areas. It’s going to be (already is but going to get much worse) a very stressful period; some sort of fresh air and exercise can go a long way.

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I would consider picking one family close by that you would trust not to go crazy going everywhere.  Then you can help each other out with needed child care and provide company for the kids etc.  You could even organise groceries together to minimise store trips.
 

because of where we live we have tonnes of people free space.

if you have access to low density walking space you could go out with your friend family.  

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2 hours ago, elroisees said:

I'm keeping my neighbor's toddlers most weekdays because their childcare is closed and they both must work.  They're working their schedule hard, but they need the help. 

 

 

This is wonderful.  This is a huge concern as so many families do not have relatives close by and parents must work but so many day cares, esp those tied to the schools are closed.

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My neighbor has 3 kids, 6th and 2 in 9th grade. Their oldest is in a private school and they are out until April 14th. They will do virtual learning. The other two are in public school and school has been cancelled today and Monday. Mom thinks public school is gearing up to close too. I’ll help in whatever way I can, checking in on them, having them over to play board games, baking/cooking with them. Mom is a SLP, working with an older population. She thinks her center will close. Since she’s a contracted worker, she won’t get paid😢I really feel for them. 

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One of the moms who works in a school has offered generally to provide daycare.  I don't need it, but it seems to signal that she's OK with potentially being exposed (as I am).

The other adults in my house are around age 60.  They are still going out and acting like normal.  If it is spreading like crazy, we will all probably get it, and hopefully we'll all be in the vast majority that gets a mild case.  I have no plans to visit my folks or anyone else I know of with immunity issues.

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Posted (edited)

Well the school has been busy preparing lots of work for the kids, which they are to pick up or get electronically by Monday.

I'm glad, except for the note "make sure you have your sketch books."  I hate sketch book assignments (my kids dislike drawing).  Couldn't they lay off those during a national emergency?  😛

Edited by SKL
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Many of the piano teachers on my forums are making plans to teach virtually, or to have students record their practice and then provide feedback via e-mail or text, so I'd check with the teacher as to what plans they have. I'm spending my Spring Break getting materials ready to go online, and am actually looking into options for some group online game days, etc because I suspect that if they close schools for several weeks, my students will be dying to talk to someone else close to their age.

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At least my kids and most of their friends have Facetime (is that what it's called?).

Right now mine are watching Gone with the Wind.  Theoretically I am "working."

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If our schools close, DH and I will still have to work.  If the curve doesn’t flatten and the hospitals are hit,  we’ll be working a lot.  We work in EMS so we are considered essential employees. I am not concerned about catching it, but DH’s mom has lung issues and my mom is the primary caregiver for my elderly frail grandmother. Frankly, the kids will have to stay with grandparents and we’ll hope for the best.  

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I personally wouldn't (and will not) hesitate to do well spaced active outdoor activities with low risk kids that know how to keep their hands away from their face and can be thrown in a bath or shower upon returning home.  Also, take out/picnics are a good idea. Smart restaurants are advertising how to get take out and pay over the phone so you can pick up and run.  

School is not cancelled here.  So my teen daughter has activities that aren't cancelled either.  Sigh.  All these places are diligently mitigating risk and my teen FINALLY gets the hand washing thing.  And they are more active things where kids aren't in cramped quarters, etc.  And we're all lowish risk. But still makes me twitchy.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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K-8 kids are being cared for by grandparents even though many of my neighbors can work from home as they have many conference calls throughout the day. My county just announced closing all schools for three weeks. Teens are going to be running around the neighborhood like what they are doing now after school. Those with SAHPs are going to be “after schooled” by parents and tutors since schools are unofficially relying on Khan Academy.

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Not us but we will likely take in a few kids to watch.  We are not high risk and having the same kids handful of kids over everyday is not the same as going to school / large events.  We will stay away from the grandparents and elderly neighbors.  

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My big joke has been, "Next week, when I'm homeschooling you again..." I've already talked them into a read aloud. They'll have some school work sent home (and I still have my own school work), but otherwise we'll just enjoy each other's company.

I will still let my kids get together with their friends.

We'll probably avoid restaurants. My faith in humans to make wise decisions (like staying home if they're sick) is pretty low right now.

I would ask your kids' teachers their preference.

I think we'll spend some time outdoors. That seems pretty low risk and a nice way to spend our time.

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18 hours ago, SKL said:

I work at home, so no childcare issue, but my kids and all their friends are upset about being isolated for [at least] 3.5 weeks.  Some questions:

  • Would you suggest the kids getting together at all?  If so, under what conditions?  (They don't live close enough to walk or bike to each other's homes.

We are arranging hikes and park meetings for healthy folks.

  • My kids each have a music teacher of grandparent age giving them lessons one evening a week.  Should I call the teachers and ask their preference, or just cancel unilaterally?

We cancelled ours (very similar circumstance) but told him we'd continue to pay for lessons as long as we were able.

  • Restaurants - yea or nay?

We are ordering from restaurants, but not going to them. Restaurants are hurting, so this helps the economy, but minimizes risk.

  • How will/would you spend the hours of found family time?

Still working on this one. I've asked grandparents to send small gifts spread out over the 6 weeks we are off. Our school district ISN'T doing distance learning, which isn't ok with me, so I'm going to be putting together a plan and curriculum for each kid. My  middle daughter wants to perfect her knitting. My oldest is working on mastering a new piece of music. I'd love for my Kindergartner to master reading (she's right on the cusp). I'm also reading them The Long Winter, mostly to remind them that it could be So. Much. Worse.  🙂

 

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DH and I work opposite shifts, however, we are both essential services.... not sure how that will work out. But theoretically one of us is always home. Most after school interaction with friends is online, so I can’t see that changing! 

Oldest’s private school has a plan and has been testing teaching remotely. Younger’s public home sent home a note; haven’t read it yet. Everything except youngest’s basketball tournament is cancelled.

2 cases in the province, 349 tested.

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14 hours ago, MEmama said:

In the OPs situation, a hard no to friends (that really would defeat the purpose),

I disagree. At this point, they aren't advising that people isolate to the point of not seeing anyone outside the family - they are mostly calling for events with more than 50 people to be cancelled or postponed. I don't think small gatherings of friends, with proper protocols and social distancing, would violate the spirit of what's being asked. People are also more likely to comply with the critical requirements if they aren't asked to completely isolate. Plus, with the younger kids, somebody has to watch them, and the best case scenario is small groups. Every kid staying in their own home, watched by a parent, is not something that is possible. 

5 hours ago, sassenach said:

We'll probably avoid restaurants. My faith in humans to make wise decisions (like staying home if they're sick) is pretty low right now.

To be fair, this is less about making wise decisions and more about having to pay the rent. 

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21 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

To be fair, this is less about making wise decisions and more about having to pay the rent. 

Whatever the reason, I’m certain that some people will go to their food service jobs sick. I don’t plan on rolling those dice. 

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My kids’ schools are closed “indefinitely” (we are in WV). I work from home and my kids are older, so I don’t need to find childcare. I am struggling with what to allow my 16 year old ds to do while out of school. He has a very active friend group and they are constantly at the gym, playing basketball, or spending the night together. I honestly don’t know what to allow during this time. I don’t think it would be good for him to be completely isolated from his friend. But what is okay and what is not?

 

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Our schools haven’t closed, but I expect we will do what we usually do, excluding our activities. The kids will hang with local friends, play outside, play games, cook, and get far too much screen time. I find having unstructured time is great for the kids, and after a day or two, they always find interesting things to occur themselves. 

We’ve had the last days off school, planned non-Coronavirus days. My 9yo alternated between scooter, bike, pretend play, and Xbox. My 11yo spent yesterday working on a painting all day and today she helped me clean and cook. My 13yo spent the day with his two best buddies biking, shooting hoops, and having other boy fun. My 15yo spent his entire day with his Pokémon collection, which he hasn’t looked at in ages, and then he went to a bonfire tonight. My 17yo did college homework and helped me organize. Downtime is great for them and for me. if school is cancelled, they will be home by themselves. 

Dd’s boyfriend returned from a Caribbean island vacation today. Our biggest decision is going to be if they hangout. If school isn’t cancelled, they will be together at school, so that will make our decision for us. 

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Our schools, in VA, are closed for two weeks but I think that’s merely a prelude to more. We will NOT be meeting with friends. We will be shopping and refueling at odd hours. DDs history and geometry teachers am have already posted lectures and assignments. Those were her only critical classes this term. DH will be enrolled in DO online for math. I think he’ll be ok for all other subjects. 
 

I am considering purchasing some lawn and new board games. Our yard/neighborhood is big enough to easily maintain our distance from randos.

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I started to reply to this thread this morning to say I  will be screwed if they close my daughters school. FFwd a few hours and they closed for 5 weeks. Oy!

She is Autistic so the schedule disruption will be terrible for her. She goes to a therapeutic day school with special services to meet her needs. No way I can meet those needs and with her aggression issues, I can't hire a sitter. I work for the government, and they have approved 'leave without pay' for parents in my situation. I will only be working part time, working around other family member's schedules to provide care for her. They have agreed to move me to a non-vital role and to just let me work as I can for the next 5 weeks. Unfortunately, that means my more vital job tasks will be spread to other people.  I have about  30-40 hours worth of leave in my bank, and I hope to stretch that as far as I can. My job can't be done from home, and I can't really work a flexible schedule due  to my scope of practice. All of my coworkers and empathetic, but I am sure that empathy will get spread thin, when they have to rotate through my more vital job tasks. 

I had been saving money to replace my flooring in my home and was planning to place the order today. I  decided to not order and just keep the money for now. It is a nice safety cushion, but I worry that  it could get used up in this crisis and I  won't be able to save it up again. On one hand I feel like I would finally have the time to do the project LOL, but afraid to spend the money. Booo

Ironically, if we were actually sick and quarantined, I would be paid without using my leave. Haha. 

Edited by Tap
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Our schools haven't closed. but I think they will next week.  Ds16, a high school junior, will spend too much time online. I will make sure he practices his violin and does his homework.  I don't see that being a problem as he's a good student. He drives, plus we live in suburbia where all of his friend group from school is very close, so I'm sure they will get together to play boardgames or dungeons and dragons, or go skateboarding, or basketball, etc.  Unless someone in our house starts to feel sick, I will encourage him to get together with friends.  He takes violin lessons from an elderly teacher.  We just received an email from the music school and they are going to video conference lessons immediately, no other options.  That is fine with me and feels like a safe option. 

dd18, will be home next week, too with her college closing. She didn't go to high school here (she graduated last summer and then we moved a few weeks before she headed to college), and knows no one, so she will be stuck with me.  If she's interested, I'll let a few friends know that she is available to babysit. She is working toward becoming a lifeguard, so hopefully our nearest pool will stay open.  

I work part time, but our kids are older. Many of my clients are two parent working families or single moms in the hospitality industry.  Schools closing along with the lack of tourists in our area could be devastating to so many people who are on the edge.

I will still grocery shop.  And eat at restaurants.  Our refrigerator died this week and we are waiting for a part before the repair guy can hopefully fix it.  The dorm fridge I am borrowing from a neighbor can only do so much, which means I need to shop nearly daily and/or eat out.  My closest grocery store has plenty of produce and I have a well stocked pantry and freezer of meat. I'm assuming eggs and milk will continue to be replenished.

Our older dd and her husband may drive dd18 home next weekend, and we may go to the Grand Canyon for a couple of days.  National Parks are still open, right? We will take in the views and stay out of the visitors center.  We don't seem to be in a hot spot (yet) and will follow recommendations as they change.

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13 hours ago, Tap said:

I started to reply to this thread this morning to say I  will be screwed if they close my daughters school. FFwd a few hours and they closed for 5 weeks. Oy!

She is Autistic so the schedule disruption will be terrible for her. She goes to a therapeutic day school with special services to meet her needs. No way I can meet those needs and with her aggression issues, I can't hire a sitter. I work for the government, and they have approved 'leave without pay' for parents in my situation. I will only be working part time, working around other family member's schedules to provide care for her. They have agreed to move me to a non-vital role and to just let me work as I can for the next 5 weeks. Unfortunately, that means my more vital job tasks will be spread to other people.  I have about  30-40 hours worth of leave in my bank, and I hope to stretch that as far as I can. My job can't be done from home, and I can't really work a flexible schedule due  to my scope of practice. All of my coworkers and empathetic, but I am sure that empathy will get spread thin, when they have to rotate through my more vital job tasks. 

I had been saving money to replace my flooring in my home and was planning to place the order today. I  decided to not order and just keep the money for now. It is a nice safety cushion, but I worry that  it could get used up in this crisis and I  won't be able to save it up again. On one hand I feel like I would finally have the time to do the project LOL, but afraid to spend the money. Booo

Ironically, if we were actually sick and quarantined, I would be paid without using my leave. Haha. 


My oldest son also is autistic with behaviors and attends a therapeutic day school. His grandmas are great with him, so they are an option, but the routine change is going to be a disaster for us. Schools here in NY haven’t closed yet, but I expect them too.

AND we just closed for a month...

Edited by Medicmom2.0
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For those who have high needs kids in school, I wonder if hiring the teacher as a part-time babysitter could be an option.  I hope you find the help you need.

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Two of my mom friends have agreed it would be a good idea to do an outdoor get-together.  One says my kids are welcome at her house anytime.  And last I heard, horse riding will be open.

My sister has planned a family get-together for this weekend.  This will include 4 girl cousins, ages 9, 10, 13 and 13.  Not the most exciting for my kids, but better than isolation.

My kids have been binge watching Anne of Green Gables movies since last night.  I'm going to go tell them we're going out walking or bike riding in a bit.  🙂  We also need to go buy a microwave since ours bit the dust yesterday.  And I think we should eat out again, to help the local businesses.

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