Homeschool, Kids in School

6 Tips For Finding Your COVID-19 Comfort Zone*

6 Tips For Finding Your COVID-19 Comfort Zone*

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COVID-19 still presents challenges for the homeschooled family. For example, if your child needs outside help from a tutor or teacher, you need to determine your comfort level before you make a hire. Here are five factors to consider before you make a decision.

*Teachers and Students are asked for their COVID Comfort Score in Anything Academic. This is purely for the sake of matching comfort levels between them. Scores are determined based on questions about activities outside the home and relative risks. These scores are meant to guide your confidence that you have found a like-minded individual regarding social isolation strategies or lack thereof.

In many ways, homeschooling has been a considerable advantage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeschoolers haven’t had to worry about making the switch to online school, deciding between hybrid, online, and in-person options, or adjusting to schooling in the home environment.

Nevertheless, COVID-19 still presents challenges for the homeschooled family. For example, if your child needs outside help from a tutor or teacher, you need to determine your comfort level before you make a hire. Here are five factors to consider before you make a decision:

  1. Health Risks: Are any of your family members considered high-risk for COVID-19 complications? If so, you should take a more conservative approach when it comes to bringing in outside help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following factors put you at higher risk for COVID-19 complications: pregnancy, moderate or severe obesity, cancer, heart disease, smoking, type 2 diabetes, COPD, chronic kidney disease, or a weakened immune system. Adults over the age of 85 are also considered extremely high risk for complications. If any of the people who live in your household fall into these categories, take extra precautions to keep them safe.

  2. Financial Considerations: Imagine your tutor tells you he or she has tested positive for COVID-19. Even if your family seems healthy, you have still been exposed. What kind of an effect will this have on your work and ability to provide for the family? This is an important question to ask before you increase your family’s exposure. For example, if you are paid by the hour and are required to quarantine for two weeks, do you have enough money in savings to pay the bills and provide groceries?

  3. Test Cost and Availability: How easy is it for you to obtain COVID-19 testing in your area? Is there a cost, and are you prepared to pay that cost? Again, remember that if your tutor tests positive for COVID-19, you will likely need to get a test for any exposed family members, so research testing options in your area to find out how accessible they are.

  4. Prevention Strategies: What prevention strategies have you used during the COVID-19 pandemic? If you’ve had a lot of social contact with family and friends, you may feel comfortable hiring outside help. However, keep in mind that many tutors or teachers may not feel comfortable with that arrangement. If they work for an agency, they may have certain requirements such as mask-wearing, meeting outdoors, or social distancing. If you’ve had many contacts, consider quarantining for a few weeks to decrease the odds of exposing your tutor to COVID-19. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still carry the virus to others.

  5. Online Accessibility: If you have a good setup for virtual tutoring, take advantage of it, especially if you are hiring your tutor during a surge in COVID-19 cases. Virtual tutoring can be effective for certain subjects, especially if you need to take a more conservative approach due to the high risk for COVID-19 complications.

Set Expectations

If you’ve decided you are comfortable hiring a teacher or tutor for your child, be sure to take the time to determine any rules you want to enforce during this time of pandemic. A review of their COVID Comfort Score will help assure you of their overall risks/behaviors, but you should ask for further information. Here are some questions to answer before your first meeting:

  1. Do you want the tutor to wear a mask?

  2. Do you prefer to meet outdoors?

  3. If you meet indoors, will you follow social distancing guidelines?

  4. What is your COVID-19 exposure policy? For example, if your tutor has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, do you prefer to cancel classes or move to a virtual setting until they have a negative test result?

  5. What about travel? For example, are you comfortable with your tutoring coming to your house after he or she has traveled to a high-risk area?

Make your expectations clear before you hire your tutor, so you are all on the same page. And of course, if you or any of your family members are exposed to COVID-19, notify your tutor immediately and go virtual for a while. Better safe than sorry!

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