Back to school planning will look different this year than in the past for parents and educators. As a parent, how do you plan and prepare for the school reopening after COVID-19? This guide will help you organize effectively for the start of the academic year.
Deciding How Your Child will Return to School
A big decision for parents is whether your kids will return to an in-person classroom or a virtual learning environment. As schools begin to reopen, there is a lot to think about, including health concerns, your child’s academic needs, personal preferences, job considerations, and what a certain school is offering this fall.
Key considerations include whether your son or daughter is at an increased risk of illness and whether COVID-19 cases are high in your community. Weigh the risks and benefits of continuing distance learning versus in-person learning at your school, and speak with school faculty, your employer, and your child’s doctor to gain more information.
Begin Readying Your Kids Now for Back to School
If attending in-person classes is the plan for your youngster, then start prepping them before the first day back. Doing so will help to ensure that they start in the best way possible.
Bring up the subject of the upcoming school year if your child hasn’t done so already and maintain a positive tone when doing so. If it is a school that they haven’t attended yet, drive by it to start to familiarize them with it. If they will be taking the bus, then do a trial run, including explaining about wearing a face mask and spaced seating.
Get a list of the needed classroom supplies too. The list might be posted on the school’s website. Even if you cannot get the specifics, you and your child can still have an outing to get the basics, including pens, pencils, lined paper, and a backpack. Give them some time to play with these items before the first day as it’s fun to have something new.
Start parts of the back-to-school routine a few weeks ahead of time too. That includes setting an early sleep time, as well as establishing habits in the morning and at night.
Steps to Minimize COVID-19 Risks as Kids Return to School
Make sure to speak with your child about precautions to take while they are at school, such as social distancing, wearing a face mask, and washing or sanitizing their hands often. Explain too that it’s best not to share things with other students, such as books and pens.
Before the first day, practice proper handwashing techniques with your child, explaining why it is necessary. Inquire with the school too about their emergency contact information and update it, if needed.
Planning for At-Home Learning
If your child is learning from home instead, then review the school’s plan, including inquiring if there will be regular opportunities for your child to interact online with other students or staff. Find out whether the instruction will be live or pre-recorded videos from teachers.
Finally, try to find a quiet area of the home for your boy or girl to learn and complete projects. Ensure that it has good lighting and can fit a desk, if possible.
To help you keep track of their assignments and deadlines, consider putting up a family calendar too. We are happy to suggest other ways to organize the back-to-school process for your family during this unprecedented time.