Back to School: Covid Woes
My oldest kid is 7 now, it's his 2nd year at school and all his time at school was dominated by Covid. Being a school kid in these days is no fun. School was closed several times last year. It was a real struggle learning reading and writing at home instead of school. They didn't have online classes but long lists of exercises for each week. And remember, a first grader can't even read the texts of the exercises in the books himself so basically we had to sit with him and do everything with him. He got very frustrated, shouted at us, didn't want to do anything. He just couldn't cope with school being closed. In the end we called his teacher and the headmaster and got him back to school along with the kids who couldn't get supervision at home. Still, the whole year was a real struggle for everyone. We all really needed the summer break.
Well, this school year started like the last one ended: with masks at school and Covid tests three times per week. Once again the kids are not allowed to do sports in the sports hall because of higher risks of infections. My son's class has been in the sports hall exactly one time last year. They had to do all sports outside if weather permitted it. On the other hand, they currently seem to be allowed to sing at school, which was also forbidden all of last year, just like other stuff. All desks are arranged in straight lines and they have big spaces between the kids in the classrooms. They will certainly also not be allowed to do any kind of visits to theatres or museums or anything this year. Just like the last. They are also not allowed to play with friends from other classes during breaks and all kinds of things like that. School really is very different from what it was before Covid.
And kindergarten? They also couldn't do lots of the usual things during the last 1.5 years. No playing with kids from other classes. No sports in the sports room. No birthday parties with home-made cake. No proper goodbye party for kids who leave for elementary school. No lantern festival for St. Martin. Usually they also do some cooking or baking with the kids, which was also very limited, just like other fun stuff. Even outdoor spaces are divided between different classes, so they never have access to all the play equipment at the same time. This year class in kindergarten was already closed because of a positive Covid test result.
Basically I think it currently is a very bad time to be a student, especially a very young one. Things that once seemed completely normal are simply not allowed. Let's hope the younger kids can at least soon be vaccinated so things get better for them.