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Coronavirus: Edmonton family heads back to school 3 different ways

Click to play video 'Edmonton family heads back to school in 3 different ways' Edmonton family heads back to school in 3 different ways
Getting three kids ready to head back to school is never easy but with parents considering online, in-class and homeschooling, one Edmonton family decided to pick all three. Chris Chacon explains.

Getting three kids ready to head back to school is never easy but COVID-19 presented an extra challenge for families approaching fall 2020.

READ MORE: Symptoms, confirmed cases and outbreaks: How Alberta plans to handle COVID-19 in schools

In Alberta, parents are considering online, in-class and homeschooling options. One Edmonton family decided to pick all three.

“My oldest is going to be parent-led home schooling which means I’m her teacher and I pick the curriculum,” Michelle Henderson said.

“My second one is going to be doing distance learning through Edmonton Public Schools, which is online and teacher-led. And my third is going to be in-class in Edmonton Public Schools.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Ottawa giving provinces $2B for back-to-school safety

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With options to choose, 11-year-old Maya Sawan decided to do online learning. She says she’s taking a wait-and-see approach to fall and the potential risk of COVID-19 spreading in her school.

“If I go, there’s a chance that if somebody’s sick, everyone that has been around them is probably going to need to take a test and then quarantine for 14 days and it’s not going to be fun,” said Sawan, who is going into Grade 6.

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Her older sister, 12-year-old Hannah, chose parent-led home schooling. She wanted to do in-class learning but after undergoing back surgery in June, this option should give her the most flexibility.

“I can’t physically sit in a desk for seven hours. I can’t even sit on the couch for two hours,” said Hannah, who is going into Grade 8.

Click to play video '‘I believe this is the right first step’: Hinshaw on Alberta’s return to school plan' ‘I believe this is the right first step’: Hinshaw on Alberta’s return to school plan
‘I believe this is the right first step’: Hinshaw on Alberta’s return to school plan

Henderson’s youngest, five-year-old Nadia, can’t wait to start in-class learning. It’s an option her mom felt was best suited for her social and learning situation.

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“I’m excited to meet new friends,” said Nadia Holly, who starting kindergarten.

Read more: COVID-19: How Alberta’s 4 biggest school boards are planning for substitute teachers

While this plan will lead to more work for Henderson, she says she wanted to give her children the choice and do what is best for their mental health.

“I’m trying to be really realistic with them about what it’s going to look like in class for each of them.

“Taking that into account and their needs and the way they like to learn and the way they like to socialize. I gave them the options,” Henderson said.

She adds that she knows the school year has unknowns but for now she’s hopeful this will work.

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