Many children are returning to full-time classes for the first time in a very long time. As a result, it could be difficult to get them back into a routine. Plus, they may face additional health protocols that can add complexity.
Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to set them up for success this school year.
Let Them Know It Will Be Different
Younger students may be wondering what the school and classrooms will look like when they return. They may be scared too, considering how much time they’ve spent at home.
Answer their questions as best you can. Tell them about the measures that will be used such as masking and social distancing. Also let them know that the situation will eventually improve if they “stay safe.”
Establish Your Morning Routine
Let’s face it, after many months of lounging around the house for hours in pajamas, it could be a rude awakening when students have to get up early, dress, eat breakfast, and go. Begin the new routine as soon as possible and remember, consistency is key!
Use Your Evenings Wisely
You can save yourself a lot of grief if you prepare some things the night before. Pack lunches, lay out clean clothes, and set the alarm clock. Don’t forget to check whether your students did their homework!
You will also want to try to get everyone together for your evening meal. After spending so many hours apart, wee ones can feel very anxious. Plus, you’ll want to know all your children are dealing with at school now – good or bad.
Let Them Know It Is Okay to Ask For Help
Things won’t be as straightforward as usual and students may struggle. Let them know that it okay if they have problems and that it is also okay to ask for help. Teachers and school staff will do their best to answer questions and make them feel comfortable. However, they can only help when they know there’s a need.
Encourage them to speak up whether they need to find a bathroom or they’re feeling stressed or depressed.
Keep It Simple
Let your children know that it will take time before they get back into regular classroom learning. They’ve been away from their peers and school for a very long time.
Start small and keep it simple. Let them find their classrooms and learn their teacher’s names, before they hunker down into a routine. Encourage them to engage in learning when they’re ready. Reconnecting with friends is a good way to create positivity again.
Connect With The School
Check how the school is handling new student indoctrinations. Some are using online resources such as YouTube or Zoom to welcome incoming students. Schools may also provide valuable information such as where and how students can be dropped off, what things they’ll need for first days, and whether lunch is available in the cafeteria.
Students or parents should check their email often for school updates, too. Things can change quickly, so stay in the loop.
Some schools will offer valuable in-person orientation sessions for students. These are a great way for them to get their bearings, meet teachers, and learn the school’s schedules.
Orientations are also a good way to discover extracurricular activities available. Mental health has been under considerable strain over the past few years. However, a new activity could be just the thing to brighten a student’s outlook in the new school year.