Parents and families wouldn’t have dreamt that schools and businesses would shut down in March. They would never have thought that schools wouldn’t reopen in August or September either.
Regardless of your position of whether schools should be open or closed, the reality is that most kids will return to school this Fall virtually.
So, how do you prepare for a school year that begins from home, may stay at home, may return partially to in-person education, or may at some point return to full-time in-person school?
Here are a few tips to help you navigate through the uncertainty:
Know Your Options. Yes, you have options. You can stay enrolled in your current school and follow their guidelines. You can choose a free public online school. You can choose to pay for private online school. You can choose to homeschool and create your own curriculum as long as you meet your state’s standards.
Be Honest With Your Kids. If you are feeling stressed about the uncertainty of the upcoming school year, you can guarantee that your kids are feeling it too. They are missing out on seeing their friends and participating in their normal school + after school activities. Being honest and open about what is happening (in an age-appropriate way), what you know, and what you don’t know will give your kids permission to express how they feel in an honest and open way too. In times of uncertainty, it’s important for kids to feel safe and secure about sharing their thoughts and feelings without feeling judgment.
Create A Schedule That Works For Your Family. If there is ever a time to stop comparing your family with another, it is now. What works for your neighbor or best friend may not work for you. Setting realistic expectations regarding what your family can commit to in terms of your family’s work schedule and your kids’ virtual school experience is crucial to decreasing stress and anxiety about each day. Creating a schedule is a necessity so that each member of the family knows what to expect each day. This involves scheduling daily wake-up time, bed time, meal time, school time, work time, fun time, and relax time.
Take Advantage Of The Extra Time And Unplug. If you aren’t commuting to work or driving kids to/from school or as many extracurricular activities, then you probably have more time to connect with each other. With everyone on the computer because of virtual meetings and classrooms, it will be important to TURN OFF technology and connect with face-to-face time as a family. Eat more meals together. Play a board game. Take a walk or go for a family bike ride. Playing together can break down barriers and lead to conversations that you might typically miss out on when you are rushing from one place to another.
I hope this helps as you enter the school year during unprecedented times. Don’t try to navigate this alone. Reach out to other families and stay connected. We may need to maintain social distance but we don’t need to isolate ourselves and be distant. We are in this together!
To Your Best Health,
P.S. I invite you to join The Real Healthy U FREE Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheRealHealthyU/ where we are committed to helping families reach their best health together. 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲. 𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗲. 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗿. 𝗕𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲.
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