Going back to school is a unique experience for all as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With regulations for social distancing and online schooling options, getting ready for school can be stressful for families. There are things you can do to navigate this uncharted territory as a family and have a successful school year. Here tips to help you get your kids ready to go back to school.
Stay Connected with Your Child’s Learning
According to 21% of public teachers, student apathy is a problem with many students. Help encourage a love of learning with your children by being active in their education. Talk with your child’s teacher to address any issues that may arise. Your child is going to have to make many adjustments with the new guidelines and restrictions as a result of the pandemic. It’s important to practice patience and understanding and monitoring your own motions during the transition period.
Provide a quiet place where your children can study and limit screen time. You can use an egg timer to help your child focus on school-related tasks for a specific period of time. In some cases, apathy can be a result of a learning disability or other mental and emotional issues. You may want to consider reaching out for professional help to address any issues your child may be facing.
Get Medical and Dental Checkups
Each year, 51 million hours of school are lost because of a dental-related illness. Make sure your children receive medical and dental checkups before going to school. Get any necessary vaccinations. Ask your doctor for recommendations on keeping your child and family safe from the virus. Monitor your child’s health at home with daily temperature checks and watching for symptoms.
Make sure you get all the necessary supplies your family will need throughout the school year. Stock up on masks and hand sanitizer. Teach your children about the importance of handwashing and maintaining a distance from others for their safety. If your child isn’t used to wearing a mask for an extended period of time, now is the time to start practicing. Let your child pick out or decorate their own mask to encourage them to wear it.
Establish a Back to School Routine
During the pandemic, many parents have let routine schedules slide. Now that schools are reopening, it’s important to establish a daily routine once again. A few weeks before school begins, start waking them up at the normal time they should be getting ready for school and get dressed for the day. Bedtime routines should also be set. Create a family calendar to keep track of all school activities.
Create a space where your children can keep all their supplies so they’re easy to find. If your child is going to be attending school virtually, you may want to create a schedule for the family so your child’s education isn’t interrupted. Make routine charts for younger children to help them keep track of all the things they need to do to get ready for school in the morning. Make lunches and layout outfits the night before to make mornings less stressful.
Consider Virtual Schooling
The U.S. consumer market for electronics in 2019 was valued at $301 billion. Many families are relying on electronics more for educational purposes because of the pandemic. If you’re concerned about your child’s health and safety with going back to school, you may want to consider virtual schooling alternatives. Your child can attend classes online led by a teacher and even receive tutoring help in the comfort of their own home.
Families can save money on childcare by choosing virtual schooling. Approximately a third of families spend 20% or more on child care expenses. If your child attends school at home, you can visit local businesses with indoor playgrounds to keep younger children occupied while you help your child with their online schoolwork.
Learn the New Rules and Regulations
Depending on where you live, each school is going to have its own rules and regulations on how to navigate the school experience during the pandemic. You may want to speak with school officials about the expectations that will be placed on students. You may want to find out the procedures if a student experiences symptoms or tests positive. Prepare backup plans for child care and quarantines for your family in case they occur. Ask about lines of communication the school has so you can stay updated on any changes.
Shop for Back to School Supplies
One of the biggest steps for getting ready to go back to school is stocking up on necessary supplies. You can get your child excited about shopping for new clothes and accessories. You may want to request a list of supplies from the school so your child will be adequately prepared. There may be new items added to help stop the spread. Buy items as soon as you can because supplies can get limited as many parents rush to get ready for the school year.
Discuss Concerns with Your Child
Your child may have some anxieties about going back to school. They may be worried about getting sick or how the school is going to be with the new rules. They may be concerned that many of their friends won’t be there because they’re doing school at home. It’s important to discuss any concerns your child may have and reassure them. Encourage them to express their feelings and develop strategies together to help get through any challenges.
Going to school may be a challenge for many children this year. The pandemic may be creating interesting obstacles but there are things you can do to overcome them. Help your children navigate through these unprecedented times by following these helpful back to school tips. By preparing in advance, you’ll help set your child up for a successful school year ahead.