While schools have closed in order to comply with the quarantine, many parents wonder if and when their children will return to school. Though most parents are relying on homeschooling to adjust to their children’s new learning-from-home reality, there will come a time when students return to school. If schools reopen this fall or even in 2021, parents should start making an effort to get their children ready to return to school eventually.
Returning to School Post Covid-19
It’s up to public leaders to determine when schools can safely open. While mayors, educators, and governors continue to debate the contributing factors surrounding reopening, parents can prepare their children for their eventual return with the following strategies:
1. Stick to a Consistent Schedule
Trying to manage working from home and remote learning is the new normal that many parents are adjusting to. While it may be challenging to do so, maintaining a consistent schedule is one of the most important steps to take to help your child. Sticking to a familiar routine will make it easier for your child to follow a typical school day schedule, which will make their eventual return to school much simpler. Likewise, having structure throughout the week will make it easier for parents and children to stick to their respective routines.
2. Plan out Screen Time Use
During the quarantine, it’s important for parents to monitor their children’s screen time. While children need to use laptops and tablets to navigate virtual classrooms, it’s important that parents limit their recreational screen time. Though some recreational time with electronics is appropriate, children that have unrestricted use of electronics will have a difficult time getting back into their regular classroom routine when schools open again.
Creating a plan for recreational screen time will help to keep your child from overusing their electronics. Parents can reserve recreational screen time for after-school hours and place additional restrictions to make sure their children are able to focus on learning during school hours.
3. Socialize Creatively
Another aspect of school your child may be missing out on is the opportunity to socialize. Thanks to the quarantine, children aren’t able to see their friends in the same way they used to. This is where creative socializing comes in. Parents should consider using various platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime to get in touch with their friends. While this isn’t the same as spending time in person, these virtual playdates will help to meet your child’s need to socialize.
4. Reaffirm Healthy Habits
In a post COVID world, parents need to make sure their children are aware of how to keep themselves healthy. Though there will be protective measures in place when schools eventually reopen, now is the time for parents to affirm healthy habits. Parents should focus on teaching their children how to wear masks, wash their hands properly, and how to safely interact with others.
In addition to promoting healthy habits, parents should take steps to keep their children’s belongings safe at school. Parents can use write on kids labels for everything from backpacks to lunch boxes to make sure their child’s belongings aren’t opened or used by anyone else.
5. Talk Positively About the Future
Though most parents’ time spent waiting out Covid-19 during the pandemic is filled with uncertainty, it’s important to speak positively about the future. Make sure your child is looking forward to their eventual return to school by explaining what they can expect once schools eventually reopen. While schools will certainly never operate in the same way again, parents can help their children accept the new normal by sharing what is likely to change at school.
Many experts predict that the school year or day will likely be extended. Parents can expect an increase in seat time to give children a better chance to make up for the many months of school they’ve missed.
While it may be too soon to tell when students will return to school, it isn’t too early for parents to help their children get back on track. Keep this guide in mind as you help your children adjust to remote learning while preparing them for their eventual return.