Last year, many school districts and private schools had in-person learning while others adapted to hybrid models, or all-virtual learning due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. With mask restrictions lifted in many states and vaccinations available for ages 12 and up, the upcoming school year 2021-22 may return to pre-covid school schedules for some. Below are back to school preparation tips to review with your children whether they will return in person or virtual.
1. Get Back in The Learning Mindset. Some students start the school year in September while others head back the first two weeks of August. Set some time to help kids ease back into the learning mindset. By trying and learning new things out of the classroom, young minds can be encouraged to expand on their own schedule. Some new things that can be tried are virtual experiences online with renowned museums, learning institutions, zoos, botanical gardens, etc. Another option would be virtual tours which help students learn about natural history and space exploration exhibits through programs such as the Smithsonian Museum.
2. Attend the “Meet the Teacher” event or visiting the school before the first day.
3. Driving the bus or drop-off route with your child before the first day and talking about what they can expect.
4. Encourage your child to practice with any items or materials they will be using on their own (i.e., lunch containers, backpacks, jacket zippers, etc.)
5. Remind them of what to expect in terms of any changes to policies or procedures related to Covid-19 and their school. (Read about CDC Back to School guidelines here)
6. Prioritize Healthy Habits. Create or maintain daily routines to help keep things predictable. Don’t forget to keep practicing healthy habits such as taking care of both our bodies and minds by prioritizing nutrition, sleep, being active and limiting screen time.
7. Have Fun, Fun, Fun! If last year for many students wasn’t hard enough and overwhelming, it is important to have some fun. Talk about the positive things that the school year brought even if learning was done virtual during some quarters of the school year.
8. Helping Your Child Cope with Returning Back to School. Taking precaution is still necessary especially among children 11 and under who are not able to be vaccinated. Practice these 7 simple coping skills to help young children cope with anxiety: Take deep breaths, close your eyes and count to 10 or backward from 100, imagine a happy place, go for a walk, tense, and relax muscles, listen to music, and write, journal, color, or draw.
To learn more about back-to-school tips visit: https://www.strong4life.com/en/emotional-wellness/anxiety/preparing-kids-to-go-back-to-school