Covid-19 has changed life as you know it. Many students are embracing virtual learning, while some are heading back to the classroom. It depends on what area of the country you live in as to what your region is doing.
It’s scary times as we navigate uncharted waters, and your children feel the impact of society’s fears. Regardless of what your school is doing, your children will need your love and support. How do you explain something to your kids that you don’t really understand yourself, and how do you calm their fears while encouraging them that they still need to get their education?
Don’t worry; you’re not alone with your many questions and doubts. Here are five tips to help you as you navigate the 2020-2021 school year.
1. Keep Them in a Routine
It’s easy to get off the routine you’ve established during school times, especially if your child is doing online education. If they’re doing paperwork or log in whenever they want, it’s easy to get off schedule.
You want to make sure that they keep a traditional routine, even if they do get started a couple of hours later than usual. Kids, and adults, thrive on a set schedule to keep them functioning.
2. Enforce a Standard Bedtime
The worst thing that you can do for your children is to allow them to stay up all hours of the night. They need to be up by no later than 8 am and in bed by 11 pm. When they are up much later than normal, they can get their circadian rhythm off, causing all sorts of problems.
The pandemic will end, and you will have a child who has their days and nights mixed up. Keep their bedtime routine in place to keep them happy, healthy, and ready to learn.
3. Teach Organizational Skills
It’s hard to be organized at home, but your children need a dedicated spot where they can work. While it’s hard to do things virtually, they still need a clean, organized place where they can get things done.
They will go back to a traditional environment, and they will be required to keep their desk and lockers clean. One of the greatest things you can do for your children is to teach them how to keep things arranged.
4. Allow Brain Breaks During Virtual Learning
When your kids go to school each day, the teacher gives them recesses, lunch, and other breaks. Don’t expect your kids to sit in front of a computer for hours on end with no downtime.
Even if your child is a teenager, they need to have breaks to rest their brain. Try to keep a schedule as they would in school with an hour of learning and a 10-minute break between classes.
5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Some children are returning to the classroom, and many are apprehensive of doing so. They will be wearing masks, have desks spaced six feet apart, and life as they know it has changed. Even a teenager is scared because they don’t know what to expect.
There are many changes, and it’s hard to explain something to your children that is the topic of debate. Thankfully, when you keep the lines of communication open, you can ease their fears. They hear news reports, people talking, and they panic about things. Remind them that while we are charting through unprecedented times in this country, we will be okay.
Final Thoughts on Preparing Your Children for 2020-2021 School Year
As a parent, part of the job requires tackling difficult subjects and issues. The past year has brought plenty of reason to question things. It’s important to talk to your children, let them know what’s going on in the world, and tell them why these protocols are in place.
Tell them about the importance of keeping their hands clean, not getting in their friend’s face, and not sharing any drinks or foods with anyone. This new normal won’t last forever, but it’s essential to be safe until we get through the most challenging times. Your kids will respect your candor more than you keeping things from them.