Agreeing on a Back to School Plan While Co-parenting

September 16, 2020 Blog No Comments »

Back to school this year has been more stressful than most. Schools in Ontario were closed down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, and throughout the summer parents wondered how the school boards would be handling the re-openings in September and whether or not they could safely send kids back into the classroom or whether they might be better off sticking with virtual learning for the time being.

This decision may have been even more challenging for parents who didn’t agree with each other on the best course of action – or who were in a co-parenting situation. If you are not on the same page with your partner or ex on how to agree on a back to school plan for your children, here are a few tips to help you get there.

  1. Consider which learning option is in the best interests of your child.

While some children thrive with online learning, it can be a struggle for others. Parents should look at their options objectively and work together to come up with a solution that is in the best interests of the child.

If parents cannot agree on this, consider bringing in a third party such as the child’s pediatrician or school counsellor to bring an objective view.

  1. Keep your child’s schedule consistent.

For co-parents who opt for virtual learning, it is important that their schedule remains consistent regardless of which home the child is in at the time. Screen time, instruction time, homework time, and even meals and exercise time should be on a consistent schedule.

This consistency will go a long way towards giving your child a feeling of security during these uncertain times.

  1. Decide who is playing what roles in your child’s education.

Parents who are divorced or separated need to put aside their differences and decide who will be the main contact for educators when it comes to their children’s virtual education. Parents should also decide which of them can offer the best learning environment regardless of “whose day it is.”

No matter which parent is taking on the primary role in their child’s education, however, it is important that they keep the other one in the loop so that the child can receive consistent guidance from both parents.

  1. Make sure your child has the devices they need for online learning.

Ensuring your child has the best educational experience possible means ensuring that they have the right equipment. If your wi-fi is slow or weak, you may need to call your provider to upgrade your plan. Also, while phones and tablets might have worked for a few weeks in the spring, they are not really a good long-term solution.

Make sure that your child has a decent laptop or desktop computer that they can work on.

  1. Discuss transportation.

Many parents who are sending kids back to the classroom are understandably concerned about school busses where kids may not social distance or wear their masks. The same concern applies to kids walking to school together.

Although school boards are implementing measures to help ensure the safety of children traveling to and from school many parents are still nervous. It is important therefore to discuss transportation with your co-parent and make sure you are on the same page.

One possible solution is carpooling with other families that are in the same bubble.

  1. Have a contingency plan.

Although you are taking every measure to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, the risk still exists that the child or one of the co-parents could be exposed to the virus. Should this happen, your routine will undoubtedly change to keep the other members of your family safe.

Decide in advance what your plan of action will be should anyone in your family be exposed to COVID-19.

  1. Consider getting it in writing.

Having a document in writing on how co-parents will handle their children’s education during COVID-19 can give both parents peace of mind and it will help to settle any disagreements that might occur down the road.

Co-parents might also wish to assign a neutral third party to help settle disagreements when there is an impasse.

Contact Marcy Segal today.

Are you having trouble coming to an agreement on your child’s education with a co-parent? If so, I can help you settle it – contact me today to arrange for a consultation.

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