I know, I know, but hear me out.

The first semester of 2020 was horrible and we’re all scarred, but largely because we weren’t prepared. It happened suddenly – the schools closed and all of a sudden we were all home together, working and teaching and trying to keep it together.

Nothing has changed in America, as far as the health risks – if anything, they’ve actually gotten worse. The government says send your kids to school, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

You have a choice. And now that you have at least a little bit of time to prepare, it doesn’t have to be as hectic and all-consuming as it was last spring.

Here are 10 really good reasons to keep your kids home for another school year, voluntarily this time.

10. Teaching your kids about the good of the whole is an important life lesson.

There’s a good chance your kids would vote to go back to in-person school, if you gave them a choice. They won’t like having to stay home, to stay away from their friends, for another semester (or longer).

This is a good opportunity to teach them about making sacrifices for the good of the community – to teach them to think about the health and safety of others, including their family members, ahead of themselves.

9. There are significant risks to sending them out into the world.

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The government is downplaying the risks about kids and this virus, but the truth is, no one knows for sure what’s going to happen, and no one is saying there won’t be some kids who get sick, or even die.

There are people who have no choice in sending their kids to school, but if you’d rather not include yours in the experiment, and have the privilege to make that choice, why not exercise it?

8. Kids are not going to abide by the safety rules.

Not only are kids going to be kids, the truth is that there are more than a few adults out there who are not abiding by rules like social distancing or mask wearing.

They’re sharing those practices and opinions with kids who will be at school with yours.

7. We don’t know the long-term risks of COVID on anyone.

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This disease has not been around long enough for doctors to understand all of the long term risks and implications.

People are emerging alive but with heart damage, lung damage, and other organ damage that could plague people for a lifetime.

6. You could get sick…or worse.

We have to consider what it will mean to our lives if either parent in a household contracts the virus and is debilitated for any amount of time – or worse.

Most of us realize things could fall apart quickly without childcare (if you have COVID, there’s no one to help), and if you’re like most parents, the thought of dying while your kids are still young haunts you at night.

5. We should value our educators more, and take their opinions into consideration.

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Teachers already put their heart and soul into our children’s futures. They’re already asked to put their lives on the line in the event of an active shooter. Many of them are frightened that, even if children don’t struggle with the virus, they could contract it and get sick, or even die.

Keeping as many kids out of school as possible is the best way to protect teachers and other school staff.

4. You’ll be able to visit the grandparents.

If your kids go to school every day, and you care about your elderly parents’s well-being, you won’t be able to see them for the duration. Full stop.

3. You can help reduce the number of kids in the classroom.

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There will be people who have no choice but to send their kids to school. They’re first responders. They’re people who don’t have the option to work from home, or to quit their jobs. People with no other child care options.

If those of us who can keep our kids home do, it will help reduce class sizes to a point where social distancing could actually be feasible.

2. The in-school environment is bound to be super distracting.

Between masks, social distancing, forced hand washing, no group projects, no lunch in the cafeteria, not being able to see your teacher’s face, and a number of other ways that are being floated to keep everyone as safe as possible, school is not going to look the way it did a year ago.

Consider whether or not that’s the best learning environment for your child, because the whole “they need socialization” thing will be tough with new restrictions.

1. The potential for outbreaks is high.

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Listen, there will be outbreaks that begin at schools.

It might begin with a student, spread to teachers and staff, and everyone will take it home or out into the community before they realize they’re sick. Other countries are reporting exactly that, and if we hope to minimize the public health risk, we should learn from their mistakes this time around.

Well, are you convinced yet?

Tell us why you are or aren’t keeping your kids home this year in the comments!