This year, in the face of a global pandemic, the school year is going to look a little different. With schools utilizing distance learning, in-person learning, or a hybrid model - nothing seems to be going back to normal quite yet. But however your children’s schools are planning on teaching classes, here are some helpful ‘back to school’ tips for parents, to ease the transition into the new normal.
Set Aside Space
When learning space isn’t separated from r playing space, it can often be difficult to separate the two, especially for young children. If your child is remote learning this year, set up a school station at home. A dedicated place just for them to study and complete their classes, will ensure they can concentrate with fewer distractions. The space can be anywhere in your home, as long as it is clean and well lit, don’t forget to keep the supplies they will need within reach. A little goes a long way, decorating this space with balloons or stickers to celebrate holidays can help make learning fun for your child.
Stick to a Schedule
Although this back to school season is anything but conventional, creating a regular schedule will help bring a sense of normalcy to your child’s daily life. Just like they would if they were attending school, be sure to set a bedtime each night and a set time to wake up and start the day. Also remember to make your life easier by planning themed lunches in advance, and make learning breaks fun by scheduling zoom playdates with their friends.
Attending school is a huge step towards independence for your little one. Even while learning from home, it’s important to make sure you provide opportunities for them to do things on their own. This means making things like snacks, paper, crayons, and any other supplies they would need accessible to them, so they can grab things without help. Just be sure they know how to properly (and safely!) use any supplies.
Acknowledge Mental Wellness
As your children return to school, it’s important to keep in mind the many changes they are enduring, and how this might affect their mental health. Be attentive to their needs, and watch for potential signs of anxiety or stress. Talk to them about their feelings, and encourage frequent breaks and exercises that can help reduce stress such as breathing, some fun dance games, or coloring. All of these new adjustments are difficult for both parents and kids (so make sure to take care of yourself, too!)
Balance Work and Play
When your children go to school, they get scheduled play time at recess, and that same break is so important even while at home! Having time to play and get some energy out allows them to stay more focused during work time, and avoids burnout. Remember, kids have shorter attention spans, so a healthy balance of work and play will ultimately help them learn more. So grab your little one’s Liki Trike and head outside for a ride!
As many schools across the country begin to open, it’s so important to take all the precautions necessary to keep your child safe. If your child is heading back into the classroom this year, make sure you do research ahead of time about what your school is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gather all the materials ahead of time such as masks and hand sanitizer, and talk with your child about the importance of following safety guidelines.
With the right back to school tips for parents, you can start your kids off on the right foot, whether they’re headed in the classroom, or into their virtual classrooms. Either way, we hope your kids have a positive learning experience, so that when they hear the phrase ‘Back to School’ in the future - they’ll smile as much as their parents do.