Your kids probably know the rules for staying safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic by now: wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others, wash your hands often, and stay home if you feel unwell.
Since school and home life are going to be different this year, it’s also important to discuss the possibilities and tips below with them to make sure that they won’t be thrown off by having to make adjustments - back to school is already a big adjustment for most kids, and even more so now that they will be returning after an unusual summer and may be continuing with remote learning, heading back to a different school setup, or a combination of learning at home and in the classroom.
We’ve come up with a few suggestions to help you and your kids prepare for the school year.
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
A routine that allows you ample time for getting to school a little earlier than usual will be beneficial for your kids, since it’s highly likely that things will be running at a different pace during the school day to ensure that social distancing requirements are met. There won’t be any more piling in and out of the doors of the school, so getting there early to ensure that your kids aren’t late to class will be necessary. Ease your kids into this change by gently moving up bedtime earlier in the week or two before school starts. This way, they’ll be ready for the 15 to 20-minute adjustment to their morning routine. You can set the Time Timer so they can keep track of how much time is left before bed as they wind down with reading or other bedtime routines, as well as set it in the morning to keep everyone on track as they get ready for the day.
Keeping the After-School Magic Alive
Sports and other after-school activities are uncertain right now. It’s likely that kids will be missing out on many of their regular activities this year. It might be helpful to consider ways to let your children enjoy their typical after school activities from the safety of home. For example, organize Jeopardy nights with the family instead of Quick Recall, or hold mini-concerts in your living room so your child can display their talent. If we challenge ourselves and our kids to think creatively, then the possibilities for maintaining a fulfilling extracurricular life can bring a lot of enjoyment and sense of normalcy.
Consider the Sack Lunch
Introduce to your kids the idea of bringing food from home to school, to ensure their health and safety, with the benefit being that they will be able to enjoy a longer, more luxurious lunch and no long lines!