Back to school looks very different to a lot of families this year. Interestingly, it also looks very different within my own family!

I have six children attending six different schools this year. I was so overwhelmed because each different school has a different plan for dealing with COVID-19. I basically told the children to research what their school is doing and report back to me. This is the low-down:



He is going into Gr. 6 at a little private school. Because of his learning differences, I have found a smaller size classroom better suits his learning style. That has worked out well in these times of COVID because there are very few children in his class. As such, he will be attending full-time.



This little guy is starting high school. I was going to send him to the local high school, but with his health issues, I decided to go with a private school. He will be attending full-time but will only be doing two courses a day and staying with the same cohort throughout the day.



She is starting Gr. 10 and attends the local high school. Although she seems to understand the plan, I’m still confused. It looks like she will be attending for a half day twice a week, then three half days the following week. If she knows where she needs to be and when, I’m leaving this one to her.



This daughter is heading off to first year of University. I expected she’d be staying home, but her residence is open, though she won’t have a roommate as had been the original plan. Most of her classes will be online with a few seminars that will be done in person.



She is entering second year of University and already had a house organized with her friends before COVID-19 hit. She is living there already and will be doing her courses online and her labs in person. As a varsity lacrosse player, she is disappointed the season has been cancelled.



He is starting his third year of university. Because he struggles with executive functioning, my preference was that he stayed in residence. Enter COVID and the residences at his university are not opening. I expected he would study online from home, but he just announced he’d rather live at school. As such, we’re madly looking for a sublet. I’m pretending not to be offended that he doesn’t want to stay home with mama!

Are your kids at different schools? Are you approaching school differently based on your children’s different learning style? Do you have one kid who excels with online learning and another who needs to be in-person? Back to school may look very different to children living in the same home.


Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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