Getting children back to school is such a wonderful time of the year. The new uniforms, school supplies, routines, and possibilities that a new school year brings are exciting to both parents and kids. Now that COVID is in our lives, some of that excitement has been replaced with apprehension. There is also the fear that there might not ever be another “normal” school year again.
Here are some tips to get you and your family ready for the new school year to ensure that everyone is better prepared and setting themselves up for success, even during a pandemic:
Back to School Doctors Visit
Make sure that your child is up to date on their vaccines and that their immune systems are working to their best protentional. A checkup with your child’s Pediatrician can confirm that everyone is as healthy as they can be before returning to school. This can also be a good time for you, or your child, to ask any questions about returning to school while COVID numbers are high. This is a great time to voice any safety concerns that you might have.
Routine Routine Routine
Children thrive in having a routine. Now more than ever, a routine is beneficial to children feeling as safe and secure as possible. Since the 2020 school year was such a change in pace for school-aged kids, going back to in-person school can be a huge transition for many. Summer vacation can mess with sleep cycles and can make going back to school more difficult, starting a new routine before school starts will get your child ready for the beginning of school. Implementing routines for waking up, coming home, and going to bed BEFORE the start of school will make the transition that much easier. Staying in your routine throughout the school year, and making adjustments as needed, will create an environment to flourish for your child.
Connect With Teachers Beforehand
Contacting your child’s teacher before the start of school can help calm you and your child’s anxieties about the new year. Introducing yourself and your child beforehand will allow you to ask any questions you might have as well as voicing any concerns over the new school year. Getting acquainted with your child’s teacher, and even their guidance counselor can make the transition back to school a little smoother for everyone.
Set Up a Workspace
Preparing an organized place to study, away from distractions, is something that will benefit your child in school. Kids need a quiet place to work and study. Get them involved by letting them help with gathering supplies and getting everything set up. If possible, giving them access to a laptop or computer for schoolwork would be excellent, too. This will also give you an easy way to monitor your child’s internet usage in one location.
Listen to Your Child (Mental Health)
Some students who had anxiety before the pandemic might have an increase in their anxiety levels while other students might be experiencing anxiety for the first time. Being on the lookout for behavior that seems uncharacteristic to your child and asking questions about how they are feeling throughout the school year is a great way to be proactive about their mental well-being. Continuing to check in with your child, as well as staying in contact with their teachers to see if they notice anything out of the ordinary will help you stay on top of their mental health needs.
Whether your children are returning to school in person, virtually, or they are being homeschooled, starting their school year off with a plan of action will lay the foundation for success this school year. It is a very emotional time for many of us, especially for our children. Making the return to school as seamless as you can, while accommodating their needs, will help everyone be successful this new school year.
Misty Roussa is a Louisiana native who lives with her husband and two children. She has contributed to Red Stick Mom, The CF Foundation, and Cystic-Fibrosis.com. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading, listening to podcasts, or trying to cook something her family will enjoy.