Back to School

By Julia Diamond
August 24, 2020

Whether your child will be climbing aboard the yellow school bus or telecommuting on a tablet this fall, teachers, students, and parents are gearing up for the upcoming school year.

Although the transition out of summer vacation and into back-to-school days is never easy, this year has many worried for what’s to come next. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many schools have made the decision to continue remote-learning this fall.

If you find yourself worrying about how your child will be successful in a virtual or socially-distanced learning environment, this article is for you. We’ve put together a list of things that you can do to help yourself and your household survive this unique Back-To-School Season.

  1. Explain The Situation- Take the time to ensure your children understand the choice that your school district has made (whether they are going back in-person or pursuing remote-learning). Talk to your child about COVID-19 and be sure to dispel any myths or misconceptions that they may have found while searching the internet or talking with friends. For more information, be sure to refer to the proper CDC guidelines.
  2. Gage Their Feelings–  Be sure to take the time to get your child’s feedback and listen to their concerns. Are they worried about not seeing their friends? Does it make them sad not to go back to the classroom? What will they miss? Get the conversation going and get talking! An open dialogue may prompt new ideas and conversations about how to manage this year together.
  3. Create Connections– Many teachers and schools will be looking for creative ways to help their students connect to one another this year. Be sure to touch base with your child’s classroom teacher and inquire about options for connectivity. Will your child’s teacher be creating social media pages for parents and students? Will the school be hosting virtual meetings or parent-teacher conferences? You can help your child by learning about these opportunities and encouraging them to stay engaged with their classmates through online resources.
  4. Establish a Daily Routine- At school, students stick to a strict schedule. The agenda is structured and rarely changes. Bring this aspect of structure to your child’s day for at-home learning as well. Creating and maintaining a routine will help alleviate stress and set expectations of quiet time and work time for both of you. Ultimately, you and your child will both feel in control when a clear daily routine or agenda is enforced.
  5. Engage Outside of the Classroom- Be thinking of projects and activities for your child/children that are not class-related. This could be tackling a home renovation project, building a garden, or starting a neighborhood canned food drive. Helping your child find ways to give back to their community can help to instill a greater sense of purpose. We all know how good it feels to help others! Encouraging your children to feel that sense of accomplishment can lift their spirits and keep them smiling. : )
  6. Emphasize Health– While school-from-home means potentially less exposure to the COVID-19 virus, other health concerns should be prioritized. Be sure that your child is getting regular exercise. Perhaps start your day with a morning walk around the block or a pick-up basketball game during lunch. Endorphins released during physical activity boost mood and promote overall wellness. Be sure your kids are fueled with healthy food to help their growing bodies and minds. And as always, be sure daily hygiene habits are enforced such as hand washing, teeth brushing, and getting enough sleep!
  7. Don’t Expect Perfection-  As we all continue to maneuver through the post-COVID world, it is important to remember that we are all trying our best. Teachers, parents, and students are all feeling the added pressure of e-learning and socially-distanced schooling. While it is commendable that we all strive for perfection, even during these trying times, setting the bar so high can lead to failure and frustration. It is inevitable that technology may fail, internet connection may be lost, and systems may crash. However, it is imperative we keep working together to help our kids through this school year.

Hopefully, this article gave you some inspiration for taking on the upcoming school year. Parents, be kind to yourself. Be kind to your children and their teachers. We are truly all in this together.

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