Virtual School Concerns For Our CF Child

When I was a young mother I envisioned my children's first days of school as being exciting and full of emotions. This year was no different, although the emotions were a little different compared to prior years.

Per the instructions of my son's CF doctor, we kept both he and his younger sister home for the school year. This was an easy choice in that my husband and I had zero intentions of going against his doctor's advice. However, as a parent, I felt as if I was on an island, even though many around me were keeping their kids home this school year as well.

Deciding on keeping your sick child in a bubble is relatively easy. Trusting your choice can be a bit of a struggle.

Our concerns with virtual school

Loneliness and isolation

My number one concern was social interaction. Since quarantine arrived in March, our son has been in a loose form of isolation. With the exception of visiting his grandparents (this only started in the summer) and his two close cousins, he has been at home.

There was a part of me that was excited for him to get to see his friends again and interact with his peers at school. He has said time and time again that he wants to play with them, but knowing how unsafe that can be, we have allowed him to see them twice in five months. Now he is home indefinitely and while I know this is safer, my heart breaks for him. He is lonely and he shows it.

School work

Staying on top of school work was another concern that I had. I work full-time away from my home, as does my husband, and as best that it was that he do virtual learning, that was another added layer to our already incredibly stressful days.

My fear was that he would fall behind due to everything else going on and that is the last thing that I wanted. His disease should not have an impact on his education (to a degree) and I was concerned that his 7th grade year would be a washout as far as learning was concerned.

Extracurriculars

He hasn't been about to join any school groups, like band, that he was a member of last school year. I know he misses band and working on songs in practice. Lately, he has picked up his trumpet and practiced outside, but I know he feels like it's not the same. He is constantly asking when the next Beta convention will be and if he will be able to attend. I know he is trying to give himself something to look forward to.

Virtual schooling so far

Despite my concerns, he has actually handled everything really well. He has kept up his good grades so far and attends class without much of a fight.

It's not the same as physically being in school but its the next best thing. He understands the safety side of staying home from school and, while this really been a huge adjustment for our family, we are in it together. Wherever he needs to be, that's where the rest of us will be, standing behind him.

Has your child with CF been attending school virtually? Share your experience in the comments below!

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