Back to School, but is it back to normal?

For a lot of parents across West Lothian August means sending the kids back to school for the first time since March. It means getting back to something vaguely resembling the routine we once knew. But truth be told the new normal might not feel very normal at all. For us or for them.

So how do we equip our kids and ourselves for returning to a “normal” life again?

Lockdown restrictions have gradually been lifted but for many, life has far from returned to what it once was. Back in March the prospect of home schooling, while working from home, felt like an impossible challenge. But now after so many weeks and months, spent predominantly in the safety of our own home, it is strangely the prospect of sending the kids back to school and into the outside world alone that feels more challenging.

Every family will have had a different experience during this pandemic. We’ve enjoyed some wonderful family time that we almost certainly would not have had. We’ve explored loads of local places within 5 miles of home from walking to Linn Jaw Waterfall to cycling to East Calder and Almondell Country Park. But we’ve also struggled with two working-from-home parents trying to work and home school and look after two kids. We have all at least stayed healthy and for that I’m grateful.


After so many weeks and months, spent predominantly in the safety of our own home, it is strangely the prospect of sending the kids back to school and into the outside world alone that feels more challenging

We now face the prospect of sending our youngest off to start Primary 1…and what a strange start it is going to be. Before all this we were excited about her going off to “big school”. But now I’m not so sure what there is to be excited about (not that I tell her that of course).

Photos by Laura Archibald


We won’t be looking forward to her first Halloween disco, or our first parents’ evening. I won’t be talking to her about eating her packed lunch in the big hall with the other boys and girls or having a story read to her by her P7 buddy. Because I don’t really know if any of those things will happen and in all likelihood they won’t. I can’t prepare her for what is to come because honestly I’m not sure anyone really knows what the next school year has in store.

What I can do is talk to her about seeing her friends again. About getting to know her teacher and learning lots of exciting new things. In the weeks before she starts school I can make sure I take her to the shops, out to the park or to the zoo so that going out into the big bad world again doesn’t seem quite so daunting.

And I can keep to myself any reservations and anxiety I might feel about school starting again…and just be glad that I won’t have to deal with the daily self-doubt of teaching her myself!

Published in Konect August 2020

Author: Laura Archibald

© 2020 Lothian Publications Ltd

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon