Kelly Clarkson is opening up about sending her kids back to school amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Grammy winner, 38, told the Los Angeles Times that her 4-year-old son Remington Alexander is back to in-person schooling while her 6-year-old daughter River Rose is tackling virtual coursework through October. (The singer shares the children with Brandon Blackstock, whom she filed for divorce from in June.)
Clarkson said Remington's "whole disposition has changed" since being able to interact with his classmates again after months of self-isolating.
"I think we really forget how hard this is on [children]," she said. "My kid has been in school now and he has been seeing other kids — his whole disposition has changed. There's just a different lightness to him. It's not Groundhog Day every day."
"It's easy to tell adults — well, you think it's easy to tell adults — 'You need to do this; you need to do this in order to come to work and you can't come if you don't,' " continued Clarkson. "But it's harder to tell a 4- and 6-year-old — and then, without terrifying them, that it's like the freaking apocalypse and they're going to die if they take their mask off."
"It's a really hard thing to navigate right now: to be honest with them but not so honest that it's overwhelming and scary," she added.
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The artist also explained how music has been her emotional outlet, especially during the trying times of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
"It's just like people dealing with the pandemic," said Clarkson. "Some days are fine, you're laughing about it and there's comedic things about it — in a dark-comedy kind of way — but then there are other times that are so low that you just don't know if you're going to get picked back up."
"And then there's other times when you're like, 'OK, fresh start.' … I'm incapable of not incorporating it into my music because that is my outlet," she added.
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Prior to filing for divorce in June, Clarkson had spent the quarantine with her family on a ranch in Montana. The performer is also stepmom to Blackstock's teenaged children from a previous marriage, Savannah and Seth.
"It was a stressful time," a source previously told PEOPLE about the time in isolation, adding that the quarantine "exacerbated any issues."
"We've been in really close quarters and it's been kind of nuts. I'm not going to lie," Clarkson told PEOPLE in May about life in Montana. "There's definitely some cabin fever going on. It's challenging being a working mom."
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