Tips for Preparing for Back-to-School
Preparing your children for Back-to-School this year is quite different than previous school years. Instead of buying new back-packs, lunch bags, and other school materials, parents are buying hand sanitizer, face masks, and other personal protective equipment to ensure their children are safe during the school day. Despite this unprecedented time and lack of normalcy, try to get your children excited for the new school year. Whether your children are returning to the physical school building, learning virtually from home, or participating in a “hybrid” learning experience, here are 5 tips to get your children ready for the new school year.
1. Arrange a virtual “Meet and Greet” Reach out to your child’s teacher and ask for a video chat to have a brief “meet and greet” with your child and his/her new teacher. This may help to minimize any feelings of uncertainty or anxiety your child may be having about meeting his/her new teacher.
2. Prepare a space in your home conducive to learning Collaboratively with your child, make a space in your home, where s/he will participate in virtual learning and complete instructional activities. Help your child to decorate/personalize the space. Creating a learning space will facilitate a comfortable, personal, quiet, and engaging environment to enhance learning.
3. Reinforce the everyday precautions When preparing your children for returning to school remind them of the daily COVID-19 precautions as well as what makes these precautions effective. Precautions include: Social Distancing- remind your child to reduce close contact between him/her and peers. Remind your children not to share food, drinks, or anything really, including pencils, pens, etc. Wear a Mask- To help control the spread and contraction of the virus, remind your child to always wear his/her mask while at school. Additionally, remind your child not to touch his/her face, eyes, nose, or mouth. Washing Hands- Remind your child to wash his/her hands in addition to using hand sanitizer.
4. Create a routine/schedule Just like at school, children need structure. If your child is participating in virtual learning from home, create a routine or schedule to help manage your child’s school day/school-work completion. Create breaks during the day for lunch, relaxation time, or down time. Just like at school, children need work breaks and they thrive when they have clear expectations.
5. Listen to your child’s concerns Don’t dismiss your child’s worries, anxieties, or concerns about returning to school. Listen to your child. Ask your child about his/her thoughts about going back to school. If your child will be learning from home, ask your child how s/he feels about not being with peers during the school day. Make your child feel heard.
We hope these tips are helpful. Have a fabulous school year and please know that you can do this!
5 Back-to-School Safety Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Houston Methodist On Health. https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2020/jul/5-back-to-school-safety-tips-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/.