All over the country, politicians and citizens alike are debating whether schools should reopen this fall for in-person classes, extend at-home e-learning for an unknown amount of time, or adopt some type of e-learning/in-person hybrid. And as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues, and a number of states are pausing re-opening efforts or re-closing as a result, parents across the country are dealing with the uncertainty that comes with not knowing what their children's education will look like in the immediate, or even distant, nfuture.
One of those parents is actress and wellness businesswoman Tia Mowry. As a mother to two young children, Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2, she knows, firsthand, the relentless pressure being placed on parents during this unparalleled moment in global history. "Right now in California we don't know what's going to happen," she tells Woman's Day. "There's a lot of uncertainty, which can bring on a lot of anxiety."
Thankfully, Mowry has found a way to quell the anxiety associating with preparing for an upcoming school year that feels ambiguous at best. Regardless of whether her children attend class in-person or on-line, she's preparing for the impending year the same way she would in any other situation. "I'd rather be prepared than not," she says.
Her back-to-school shopping routine has consisted of some new clothes, a backpack, lunchbox, and of course school supplies like crayons, markers, and pencils. Mowry has partnered with BIC for the launch of its BIC Kids Coloring Line, which is full of school and art supplies that Mowry says are great for kids who will spend their time learning either at home or at school. "I think knowing that I’ll have everything that I need for home or if he were to go to school makes me feel at least prepared in some kind of way," Mowry says.
As her family awaits her state and school's final decision, she's been keeping her children busy by scheduling out activities and facilitating dedicated family time. "I've become the art teacher," Mowry says, who leads her little ones in an art class each morning. "We've painted wooden stars, Cairo has an easel that is great for her, and we'll tape up some white paper and she will go for it. I'm always like, 'What's on your mind, Cairo?' And she'll paint these squiggly lines, and I'm like 'I get you, I get you,'" Mowry laughs. After art class, they'll spend the day splashing around with water toys in the backyard, cooking new and family favorite recipes together, and watching old movies she enjoyed as a kid.
But of course, the wholesomeness of all that family time doesn't always go uninterrupted. "There have been times when I literally lock myself in my room," she laughs. "I was doing a Zoom call the other day, and there was so much going on downstairs, from kids screaming to doors slamming. It’s an adjustment, and [I'm] just embracing it; embracing the imperfections. I’m very much a type-A person, but I’m learning a lot that sometimes you’ve gotta go with the flow. Your kids are going to interrupt your Zoom many times, so it’s hard but you do what you’ve gotta do."