Getting back to school has always been a stressful time for parents, but after Covid, it has taken on a new level of drama. So, how do you prepare your kids for getting back to school? Or, how do you prepare yourself for this?
There is a good chance that your teaching skills were not up to scratch compared to the teachers. Sorry parents, but let’s be honest with ourselves. There were countless parents who had to balance working from home with having to homeschool. There is a good chance that we may have slipped up a bit with the homeschooling. If you are worried about your teaching skills and the effect that it has had on your kids, hire a tutor. Or course, there were those who did amazing jobs and could share these skills with the rest of us by Becoming an Online Tutor. If you have the knowledge, share it with us and our kids.
There is a good chance that the regular routine has gone out the window too over the last year. Now is the time to get it back with some regular activities. It is important to tell your kids why you are trying to get them back into a routine and introduce the idea of getting back to school. The last thing they need is a shock to the system on the first day back and they haven’t been properly warned. Getting into a routine means making sure that they get clean in the bath or shower daily, are putting on clean clothes, and getting to sleep at a decent time.
Be ready to talk and listen
There will be a lot of anxiety about heading back to school and this should be expected. Their lives were turned upside down for the last two years, so we can’t expect them to just jump back into what they knew before. There might be some tears, there might be some worries, but you need to talk to your kids about this and listen to them. They might be feeling scared about catching the virus. They might be worried about seeing their classmates after a long period of time. Be ready to listen to them, let them get it off their chest because this is all they need to do sometimes.
Talk about the positives
As worried as your kids might be, there is a silver lining to all of this. We aren’t 100% sure that is yet but we will let you know when we know. However, we do know that there are positives to your kids going back to school. First of all, no more homeschooling. We think we can all agree that if you didn’t homeschool before, you definitely are not a fan of it now. Also, your kids getting back to school means that they will see their friends. There is a chance that they really missed being with their buddies. And, getting back to school means running around the playground. That might not seem like a big deal but to a 7-year-old who has been cooped up inside, it is a type of freedom that country singers write ballads about.
If your kids are extra anxious, they might want to take something into school with them to keep them happy such as a toy. The issue with this is that many schools are not allowing unnecessary items into school in case of contamination. So, you need to get creative. Maybe they could wear a bobble on their wrist or a special t-shirt under their uniform for some extra comfort. This is the time to think outside the box to provide your kids with some extra comfort without worrying about getting in trouble with the school.
As much as we want our kids to do well, we can’t have them study 24/7. There needs to be some chill time at the end of the day. Let them blow off some steam on the computer or watch some TV. This might not be the ideal way in your mind to have some chill time but they are kids. Let them do what they want (within reason) and let the stress melt away. When they are feeling better after some TV, you have the perfect time to chat with them about how school is going.
There is a good chance that you and the kids took up some hobbies during lockdowns when you couldn’t leave the house. Just because everything is heading back to normal, doesn’t mean that you should abandon those projects. If you are not happy about them wasting time on the TV, then get them to carry on with the projects that you started together last year. This can be a great way to bring closure to what has happened, and with each project which is finished, it will mark the end of the period. If you want to keep these projects going, great! It’s nice to have a skill. However, if you don’t feel like you have time, finish off those existing projects before putting it all to bed.
Exercise and sleep
Exercise is one of those things that we should all get more of but have real trouble doing. If your kids are sitting about in a classroom all day, there is a chance that they need to burn off some energy. If at the beginning of the first lockdowns, you exercised and walked together for your mental health, you can do this again before the weather turns for the winter. The flip side of this is that they might be really tired after a full day of school and might need to get a bit more sleep. Encourage them to listen to their bodies and see what they need. If they can’t sleep, they need fresh air and exercise. If they are too tired, they need to get to bed a lot earlier to make the most out of their day.