Life As We Know It
Never would I have thought I would be explaining what a pandemic is to my child, much less that they would have to wear a mask in school. I think it is safe to say that ever since March, our life has been somewhat of a blur. But we are adjusting and taking the changes as they come.
As we wrap up the end of summer and school begins, we have all made difficult decisions. Either way, whether you are teaching your child at home or they are going to school, we all can come to one agreement: We ultimately want what is best for our child or children, and it’s time to start now.
Schedule, Routine, Consistency . . . Repeat
One of the easiest ways to maintain control while teaching at home is to be prepared and have a good routine. Children thrive on consistency, when they know what to expect. If we as parents have realistic expectations and maintain a consistent approach each day of remote learning, the end result will please us all. Also, if we maintain consistent behavior as parents, this will help to alleviate behavioral issues at home and in the classroom.
I’ve listed a few tips below that I believe will be helpful in this back-to-school transition during a global pandemic:
- Prepare yourself mentally. Be realistic with your goals for your child and make sure you can achieve these daily or weekly. Talk with your child about what they will be doing each day and the goal to be reached by the end of the week.
- Make a reset on your family schedule. Get everyone back in a good routine for bedtime.
- Ask teachers for your child’s class roster. This can help to connect them with their friends, and it also helps for us parents to connect with other moms who are in our same situation.
- Set up a family calendar. This will help everyone to be on the same page and know what to expect. Also, give your child a detailed schedule for each weekday (this may be provided by your school.)
- Plan for childcare. This is a hard one for working parents who are doing remote and hybrid remote/in-person learning. Check for local churches who are volunteering to help working families, and your local YMCA or gym may be able to assist with this as well.
- Talk about screen time with your children. This can be a touchy subject for some, and I get it. Let us be realistic about how much they are sitting in front of the screen. From the schedules I have seen from the schools, they are doing a good job giving relief in between transitions to let the children rest.
- Prepare meals ahead of time. This has really helped our family cut down on time and costs. Try and prepare extra and have it saved for later. Also, prepackaged snacks will be a good grab-and-go option.
- Finally, organize your space at home. Let your children be creative and decorate a workspace for their schooling. Giving them independence and freedom in this area will help to boost their morale.
Don’t forget to have fun!
In the midst of the crazy, we’ve got to take the time to enjoy our children. Plan special activities outdoors or field trips that can help to relieve stress from being indoors. Some local ideas could be the zoo, local parks, or splash pads.
While we all adjust, we moms need not forget about ourselves too. Make sure to take time for yourself a few times a week to help regroup. Find a good group of friends and enjoy some free time away from school.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful and encouraging as we make this journey together.