‘Tis the season… for back to school. And I think all parents, college students, teachers and school administrators, can attest that trying to get started this year has been a bit of a wild ride.
What is the school year going to look like? Are we going too have a school year? Should kids stay home and start the year with virtual learning? How about a hybrid approach? Should we shift to 100% virtual learning and not create any undue risk? Maybe you have decided to homeschool this year.
At this point there really isn’t a wrong answer, because when it comes down to it, education has to continue and it will, it’s just looking a little different. Much like everything this year. Businesses have pivoted, families have regrouped and reprioritized what’s important and now so have our school systems.
What are some ways we can help our students acclimate to the new school year? We’ve bulleted a few helpful ideas that we’ve been able to use ourselves.
- Get your kids excited about personal use items they can use in class. We know a great place to grab reusable water bottles 😉 There are a ton of super cute hand sanitizer key chains your littles can pop onto their bookbags to keep sanitizer with them.
- Journal with your children - or help them get started on their own. Encourage them to write out their feeling about the changes that are happening around them and also about the positive aspects of their day. This is an excellent tip for adult students in college as well. Shoot, it’s an excellent tip for anyone!
- If your children are on a virtual learning or homeschool plan, create excitement about newly designated workspaces so they aren’t confused with play spaces or living areas. It will help focus attention and define school-time as well as after school activities. It’s easy to blend the two but with defined space, school stays at “school.”
- Make your learning space at home comfortable, distraction-free, and conducive to learning. Keep supplies at hand, have space for quiet work as well as a space for when a video class is in progress. Or, be sure headphones are available so grade 3 kiddo on the video chat isn’t distracting grade 5 who is reading.
All of this can be overwhelming. It just is. And it’s fine to not be fine. However, there are ways we can make back-to-school easier and less stressful for those littles who are marching off to class or logging on… as well as ease mama and papa bear’s anxiety as we try to navigate through murky waters.