Preparing for a New, Different School Year
As the nation continues to deal with COVID-19 and its variety of effects, your children will be returning to school this fall in a new way. What this means is still up in the air for many areas; it could mean more online learning, or it could mean a return to the classroom with procedures in place aimed at keeping kids safe.
We’re here for you. We’ve recently written blogs to teach you how to talk to kids about COVID-19, how to avoid summer sickness, and how to social distance in productive ways. This blog post serves to help you prepare mentally and realistically for the upcoming, unique year. No matter what your situation, we hope this gives you guidance.
Contact or Visit the Pediatrician
Before the new school year during a pandemic, it’s important to make sure that your children are prepared for any other illness as well. Especially for younger children, who will likely have more trouble following social distancing guidelines than their older counterparts, it’s good to make sure your kids are up to date on all vaccinations and that they’re feeling healthy and ready to return to school.
While many vaccinations – measles, mumps, rubella – are required by schools, others, such as the flu vaccine, are not. In this time of COVID-19, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get those shots as well. Your children’s health is the number one priority, so contacting your local pediatrician can get you prepared.
To get in-depth information about communicating openly with your children, we recommend checking out our last COVID-19-specific blog post about discussing a virus with your kids. When it comes to preparing them for a school year during this time, you’ll need to have a similar conversation.
Start by asking them how they’re feeling. Before that, analyze your own feelings, as kids are extremely perceptive to body language and they can tell if you’re entering the conversation with stress or anxieties of your own. Some kids will be very excited to return to the classroom, while others will be more fearful or stressed. This is even more likely if the family has suffered a loss or a parent has been furloughed or even laid off. Be honest and understanding.
Back to Zoom
For many, back to school could mean, at least to some degree, a return to Zoom, Skype, or other video conferencing classrooms. This is obviously not the preference, but could be necessary to keeping children and parents alike safe.
If this is the case, it might be a good time to invest in a better setup – in the form of a desk in their room or headphones so they can hear and you don’t have to. This will keep your kids both engaged and out of the way, especially if you’re also working from home.
Help Your Kids Understand
You don’t want to freak them out, but you also need to make sure your children understand that this virus is still around, and if they return to school, they’ll need to take precautions seriously. While many schools will enforce wearing masks, your children need to know how best to wear them and how important it is to do so.
Give Yourself Room for Emotions
There are a lot of feelings that could come into play in the next few months, such as fear, anxiety, and frustration when schools either open or stay closed. Neither is entirely ideal and carries pros and cons. The important thing for you and your children is that you remind them and yourself that it’s okay to feel hard feelings, as long as they aren’t negatively affecting others.
During this time, we’re here to provide resources that help keep you informed and safe. For questions about our learning centers and how we’re reacting to this time, submit a contact form and we will be happy to answer any questions!