This back-to-school season looks different than any we have ever seen before.
While school across the nation are still undecided on how their students and staff will return, some districts have made the announcement that they will give students, and their parents, the choice to continue learning remote or in-person; other schools have even made the decision to make all classes completely online.
No matter what the school year may bring or your district’s decision on classes, children will be caught in the middle. That is why it is so important to get them prepared and back into a comfortable school routine.
Here are some quick tips to help your child establish a back-to-school routine, no matter if they are heading back into the classroom or learning at home.
5 Tips for Back to the Classroom:
Teach Hygiene Rules
Having good hygiene is extremely important, especially now. Teach your child the good hygiene rules, which include washing their hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds), using hand sanitizer, not sharing their food, and sneezing/coughing into their elbow. You should also teach them that to keep everyone safe they should not touch other students or their teachers.
Practice Wearing Masks
Wearing a mask in the classroom will likely be required. At first, this will feel different for younger kids; this is why you should have them practice wearing their mask at home for extended periods of time until they become more comfortable. Let them know the importance of keeping their mask on and not sharing it with other students.
Prepare Lunches the Night Before
Get in the habit of making lunches the night before, so you aren’t stressed and rushing around in the morning. Children can even help out by picking what they would like to have and putting it all together in the fridge for easy grabbing in the morning. When you are packing remember to use Tupperware or plastic baggies they can open themselves, and include a baby wipe or sanitizer for their hands.
One of the hardest parts about going back to school is having to adjust your child’s sleeping schedule and getting them used to waking up early again. That’s why morning and night routines are crucial. About 2 weeks before school starts, you’ll want to get their bedtimes back to normal, so they have time to adjust to them.
Establish a Morning Routine
Having a polished morning routine set in place will help get you and your child out the door on time, every day. The routine should consist of: a set waking time, some type of breakfast- decided on the night before, time to get ready- brushing teeth, changing, etc., backpacks and lunch boxes sitting in their designated location, and a specific time to meet by the door or be in the car. Remember, practice makes perfect!
5 Tips for Learning at Home:
Continue to Have a Morning Routine
Even though your child is learning remotely, they can still benefit from having a routine in the morning. Waking them up and having them complete their normal duties before they have to log on, will help them become more awake and prepared for their online school day.
Designate a Workspace
Before classes begin, find an area of your home that you can designate as your child’s workspace. This should not be the dining table or the living room table. They will need a space that is completely their own where they can keep all of their supplies, just like their desk in a classroom. This space should be in a quiet area of your home or in their bedroom.
Know Their Schedule
Even though classes will be online, you should print out a copy of your child’s schedule and hang it on the fridge. Be sure to include the teacher for each subject (if they differ) and their contact information. By doing this you will be able to help them prioritize their homework and easily reach out to their teacher(s) if they have any questions you are not able to answer.
Make Rules for Toys and Electronics
Setting rules for toys and electronics before classes start will help set boundaries for what your child can and cannot do while they are learning remotely. Place all toys and electronics (stuffed animals, video games, etc.) away from their designated work area and let them know when it is acceptable to play with them, and when it is not.
Set Aside a Time for Homework
After sitting at the computer by themselves all day, the last thing your child wants to do is homework, so they may find ways to put it off. After their online learning day, let them take a short break and then set aside an hour that is solely dedicated to studying, so they can enjoy the rest of their night when it is complete. Start this on the very first day of school, so it can easily become a habit.
Children, along with most parents, love routines, and by using these tips you are setting them up for success- no matter if they are learning at home or in the classroom.
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