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How to Ease Back into the School Year

Posted by Shannen Harden on
How to Ease Back into the School Year

As the coronavirus continues to upend daily life, educators and parents find themselves assessing and re-assessing the best schooling options for the upcoming year. Not thinking about school until it's time to go back is one way to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, but maybe not the most beneficial. For some, this can make going back to school even more challenging. Whether your child will be learning remotely or in the classroom, take a look at our suggestions on the easiest way to confront those back to school jitters.

 


  1. Talk about going back to school: Most kids experience some degree of stress or apprehension about returning to school, even under normal circumstances. Find out what worries them by asking them directly. You can offer support and calm their fears by normalizing these types of experiences. Explain to your child that their feelings are not unusual and they'll overcome them once they've had time to settle in. Fear and bravery can co-exist.


  2. Set up a routine: A routine helps your child understand the balance between enjoyable tasks such as playtime and functional tasks such as getting ready for the school day. Adding a child-friendly calendar or task sheet will give your child a sense of independence. They'll learn to enjoy getting their tasks done without having to ask Mom or Dad what to do next. Most parents are more lax on bedtimes during the summer months. Implement the new sleep and chore schedule 2 weeks before going back to school as it will help your child ease into the new normal.


  3. Get organized: Set a designated study place and time. Your child should understand that a certain time each day is set aside for studying and completing homework. Let your child help choose their study time, keeping in mind that most experts agree children benefit from time to unwind directly after school. If they don't have homework, the reserved time should be used to talk about their day, read for fun, or work on an upcoming project.


  4. Encourage questions & listen: Take time out, free of distractions, to talk to your child. Encourage them to ask as many questions as they want and answer them honestly to the best of your ability. Children are surprisingly resilient and can adapt just as well as we can, given time. But they often have tons of questions. So when your child asks, make sure to listen, try to understand not just to respond.


  5. Most important, set a good example: Use those calendars for yourself, too. Take time each night to lay out your clothes for the next day. Keep to-do lists of your own. Staying organized will help add stability to the home while also offering everyone a sense of independence.

It's important to have an open and straightforward conversation with your child about what to expect this upcoming school year. Kids need help to learn and understand how to make responsible choices and follow school safety procedures before school begins. We wish you all a happy and healthy 2020-2021 school year!

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