How to Prepare for Children Going Back to School
A new school year is upon us, but it may look different for some families as we continue to navigate life during a pandemic, now with vaccinations, new variations and adjusted restrictions. Many children are beginning to go back to school in-person after a significant period of time was spent adhering to remote learning, while others will remain learning at home, or adjust to a hybrid of the two schedules. As a parent or caregiver, you may be wondering how to make this transition as smooth as possible for your children. Read on to learn how to help your children transition back to school after learning from home.
Let Your Child Know What to Expect
If your child is transitioning back to in-person classes, it may be a big adjustment, especially if your little one has become comfortable with virtual learning this past year. However, one of the best ways to help alleviate some of the stress and uncomfortableness is by giving your child a heads up on what to expect during a typical school day.
Let your child know that they might be overwhelmed by the change at first and that it is normal and okay to have those feelings. Oftentimes, change is difficult for anyone of any age. While readjusting to classes in person, children may also be required to focus more with less breaks in between. Communicating this ahead of time may eliminate some of the frustration and make the transition easier.
Work Closely With Your Child’s Teachers
Not only are parents navigating a tricky transition with their children, but teachers and their school system are doing their best to make the shift as easy as possible too. That said, discussing this transition with your child’s teacher for this upcoming year can help you both feel at ease and address any concerns you may have about them needing extra support.
Checking-in with your child’s teacher regarding your child’s progress and any concerns they may have within the first few weeks of classes also helps you stay involved in your child’s schooling and keep an eye on how they’re doing with the overall transition.
Identify The COVID-19 Regulations at Your Child’s School
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the steps that reopening schools are taking to protect their students and staff against the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, you can be confident that your child is adequately prepared to return to attending in-person classes as safely as possible.
Each school will likely have different COVID-19 regulations, but at the least, plan to review how to social distance and send your child to school with hand sanitizer and an extra mask. As the pandemic continues to lift and disperse, we may start seeing school’s go back to normal, but at this time it is a good idea to be as healthy and safe as possible.
Be a Supportive and Patient Parent
Change is difficult, yet it is also beneficial when it comes to personal growth. Be sure to let your children know that the uncomfortableness that comes with change is good, even though it can be scary at first. As a parent, children look up to you when they are overwhelmed with their emotions. It is important to listen to your kids’ feelings and support them with an abundance of patience. The more you can support them emotionally, the more they will feel as if they can lean on you for support in the future.
The transition from summer to the school-year for the children continuing with remote learning can still have an impact on children and the other family members in the house. In a past blog post, we explored distance learning tips for parents and how they can cope with the added stressors.
Seek Therapy as an Option For Your Child
If you feel that your child needs more support than you are able to provide at the moment, therapy is a great option as well. At Children’s Bureau, children ages 0-21 are offered a wide range of mental health services and resources to help them work through their big feelings and emotions.
Readjusting to a new school schedule and setting can bring up many overwhelming emotions such as anxiety, fear, and even sadness. With the support and tools provided by Children’s Bureau, your child can channel those emotions into new areas of growth and confidence.
Back In The Classroom
After more than a year of remote learning, reopening schools may seem quite intimidating, both for you and your child. However, with the right tools and support, the transition can be significantly easier for the entire family. Oftentimes, changes are most difficult in the beginning. With that in mind,the advice listed in this guide will help shorten the length of emotional difficulty when it comes to adjusting back to school.
In-person learning can bring up an array of issues for your young child. For more information on what to do if your child is being bullied, visit Children’s Bureau’s website today for insight on how to prevent bullying and how to help your child with what to say to a bully.
Susan J. Wood, Former Director of Mental Health
Susan J. Wood, LMFT was the Director of Mental Health at Children’s Bureau and has over 20 years of experience working with children in a community mental health setting. She joined Children’s Bureau in 2015 as a Program Manager in the Antelope Valley and became the program director in June 2018 where she was instrumental in opening and expanding mental health services to the Santa Clarita Valley and Long Beach.