School was once a concept one never had to think about twice. As parents, your duty was to pack lunches, peck your kids on the cheeks, and then wave them off for the day in clean uniforms and all their supplies.
But with the advent of Covid-19, it has changed. Now school had become something kids partake in within the comfort of their houses. It’s happening on screens, big or small. Children have swapped proper uniforms for a Winnie the Pooh get up - a pressed shirt, and pajamas on the bottoms. Many of the younger ones, who had just started their school before Covid-19 can count on one hand the number of years they went to school before everything shut down in March 2020.
With the introduction of vaccines, and by following proper protocols, the schools have now started slowly reopening. But are your kids prepared to go back? What are the things you, as a parent, can ask your kid to ensure that the transition is smooth and effortless?
Here are some tips for you to prepare your children to go back to school!
1) Keep a morning schedule
The biggest hurdle that children (and parents, too) will face will be the struggle to get the mornings started. Online schools gave the students an option to roll over and start their schools without the hassle of a morning routine - there was no longer the rush to have a bath, travel to school, or look presentable. Now their desk was next to their bedside, and the commute was only one jump long.
To overcome this, make sure you’re giving your kids a structure to follow in the morning - bath time, breakfast and travel. A little disciple will be needed, especially for young children.
2) Help them adjust to the new hybrid model
Teaching will now no longer be confined to one mode - it’s a culmination of online and offline methods. All at once, schools will not shift to offline method. Some aspects of the Syllabus might be taught offline, but while virtual teaching for some classes might continue.
Help your children understand and keep up with the changing methods, making sure they’re not overwhelmed. Advise them on how they could effortlessly navigate between the two. A lot of children might feel intimidated going back in a classroom, coach them through their first few days.
3) Ensure that they understand the importance of social distancing
Schools might be re-opening, but Covid-19 hasn’t gone anywhere. Every protocol that was in place before, is still very much valid and applicable.
Teach your children the importance of social distancing even in school. With no parents for constant supervision, children may run rampant and forget basic hygienic to-do’s like washing hands with soap, or wearing a mask at all times. Gently remind them about following social distancing norm.
4) Listen to their worries
The transition from remote learning to campus won’t be easy on any child. Be it a teenager or a 8 year old, the move could be mentally and emotionally disturbing for anybody.
As a parent, it is your first and foremost duty to ensure your child has a safe space to talk about worries, and air out any difficulties he or she has in adjusting. Listen to their grievances, and advice to the best of your ability. Acknowledge and validate their feelings, and remind them of the positives of studying in a school environment. Allow them time to adjust, do not rush the process. Teach them empathy, and kindness, for themselves as well as for their peers who might be feeling nervous about coming to school to.
5) Smile through it
Going back to school can be tough for the kids, but it can also be tough for the parents. You might be used to having children running underfoot all day, and their absence can cause your spirits to sink.
But as the adult, keeping the morale high is one of your parts to play. Be optimistic about their return, and imbibe in them the positive aspects of returning to school! A parent’s mood and outlook on things can greatly affect a child, hence keep the attitude upbeat and wave them off with a smile!
The world as we know have changed, and even as we try to go back to what once was, we never can. Children, who are growing up in the age of Covid-19, need their parents to guide them more than ever, and help them. If you still see certain behaviors that are worrisome, speak to their teachers or take them to a child counsellor. Just remember time, space and some advice can work wonders for all the students going back!