It’s back to school time and for most of us, that means either virtual school or a hybrid plan of virtual and in-person learning for our school age children. No matter what your particular school plan, divorced parents have the added challenge of creating a system that will work with their co-parenting agreement or order. This can make for a pretty complicated puzzle to put together.
The Pandemic “Back to School”
Virtual schooling is different across the nation, but most regions are either starting entirely online or have to be able to go immediately online in the event of a Covid surge. With virtual schooling, children are given a secure laptop and the teacher provides instruction live and in real time. If they are on a hybrid model, some students may be in the classroom, but most are learning at home. Students at home log on at the start of the school day and watch and listen just as they would in the classroom. Their usual classes are provided, although some classes may necessarily appear very different, like science and art classes.
Parenting Schedules With Virtual School
According to experts, virtual schooling is impacting parenting schedules because someone has to be present to assist most school age children who learn at home. Parents are relying on family, neighbors, and friends. Some businesses are even reaching out to provide services. This can be a problem for divorced parents who are trying to agree on who is available to provide this assistance and care. For those students who attend in person, whether part time on cycling days or consistently, a whole additional organizational puzzle is presented for divorced parents to work out.
How Mediation Helps Divorced Parents
This is where mediation can be invaluable to help parents quickly craft a parenting plan that puts all those puzzle pieces together smoothly and for the best benefit of everyone involved. It is hard enough to manage these issues in normal circumstances, but with a pandemic upending all our typical patterns, it is even harder, especially when flexibility is key.
In fact, mediation’s greatest strength is its flexibility. When you go through the courts, (which still isn’t a viable option in most regions due to closures and backlogs) arguing with lawyers tends to create rigid agreements whereas mediation allows for the flexibility we need given the seemingly constant state of change. It is also a much faster and gentler experience.
Helping Parents Cope with New School Schedules
There are so many back to school formats right now; there is distance learning exclusively, hybrid learning, in person as soon as possible (be ready), changing schedules, new extracurriculars, canceled extracurriculars. It can feel really overwhelming for parents. Mediation can be just the tool needed to bring it all under smooth control.
If we can be of service in your situation, then we would love to have a discussion and see how our services can help your family. Our locations are in the Phoenix area, but we can help divorced parents all over the country with convenient online meetings. Please reach out to us at 602.622.2008.