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Hard Decisions: The 2020-21 School Year

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

“I see you, I hear you, and you are not alone.” -Kim Caifano

It was on my drive to the airport two weeks ago that the email from the school came through regarding directions for learning options for the 2020-21 school year.

In the end, I was grateful to have the week away not only to process a few things but to experience some things as well, such as what it’s really like to wear a mask for seven straight hours.

Upon returning, the murmurings among parents were exactly what I thought they would be. Chatter about who is making what decisions, concerns about balancing work and childcare, confusion over what the various learning options truly mean.

As I moved about my week, seeing parents at ballgames, talking with neighborhood moms, chatting at a friend’s outdoor bday party, I kept encountering the huge looming topic of the upcoming school year. It is clearly weighing heavy on all of our hearts, and nobody feels entirely confident or at peace with much of anything right now.

If you are struggling with a restless heart, here is what I want to share with you:

I see you, I hear you, and you are not alone. And I don’t intend to give any advice, but I do want to share this…
There is so much unknown. There is so much we cannot control right now. So embrace what you CAN control. We can all make our own personalized lists of what that is exactly. Here is what comes to mind for me.

-My kids will move forward in their education, and I will make decisions to ensure that will happen.

-Several times a week, I will do the best I can to make sure my kids’ social needs are getting met. Hopefully that is with friends, and if not, then with intentional family time.

-My own workday tasks will get completed. It may be fragmented, at odd hours, or even on the weekend, but the necessities will get accomplished.

- I will communicate clearly with the kids’ teachers regarding our family’s capabilities to get homework turned in, in the event that my workday interferes with assignment deadlines.

-I can control my children’s at-home learning environment - what their desk area looks like, flexible seating options, fidget toys, etc.

-I can control our homework schedule and when we’ll handle at-home assignments.

-I will consume balanced sources of news in a healthy manner in order to stay informed and make the best choices for my family’s health and safety.

I will choose to embrace our situation, knowing there is no perfect option here. To a good extent, this will be mind-over-matter. I will look for the positives, to the best of my ability.

What does your list look like? What can you control - what is that you DO know? I encourage you to write it out - it may help you more than you realize.

And remember, friends, this is not forever. We may feel like these next few months are daunting, but it will come to an end.

I wrote a newsletter on this exact topic last week - email me at if you want me to send you that content.

Sending love and virtual hugs from Chicagoland.


P.S. I know many of you are diving into homeschooling for the first time ever. CONGRATS! Praying blessings on your new journey.

P. P. S. For those of you with the option to send your kids to school, I WILL say from personal experience that wearing a mask for an extended period of time during air travel really did not phase me as much as I thought it would. I truly did get used to it. I was certainly ready to take it off by the end of the day, but it wasn’t the total misery I thought it would be. 😉 For what that’s worth.

For more content like this, follow my writings on social media (Instagram and Facebook) and on my website Or hire me to coach or speak to your audience.

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1 Comment

LaPlata, Colleen
LaPlata, Colleen
Aug 06, 2020

Thanks for sharing a lot of great insight. I like the idea of making the lists of things we can control.

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