Parents: Handle Back-to-School With Confidence

Aug/30/2020 / by Jordana Weiss
Image credits: Alex Azabache via Unsplash

Everything about 2020 has made this year incredibly difficult for parents. Many children in elementary and high school ended school early, or made a rapid switch to remote learning that left parents scrambling to figure out childcare or re-arrange their schedules. Now that summer break is coming to an end, parents and families must make some hard decisions about how to handle schooling for the 2020/2021 school year.

The choice to either homeschool, pursue remote learning, or send physically kids to school is something that can only be decided as a family. There are serious pros and cons to each option. It gets even harder when parents themselves are figuring out work and other professional and personal commitments during this confusing time.

We have some tips on how you can decide on a path together, then safely navigate the return to school.

Lay Out the Options Together

One of the most confusing things about the return to school during COVID-19 is that every school district is handling things differently. The first thing you should do is check out the resources from your school district and lay out the available options.

Many school boards have chosen a hybrid model, offering in-school classes for those who want to attend, and remote learning for those who prefer to stay home. Some schools are dividing classes and sending half into school at a time, while the other half learns from home that day. Thirty-nine of the 50 largest school districts in the country will be doing an online-only model. Your choices will vary widely depending on your school district.

Figure Out Your Plan

Only you can say what’s right for your family. Once you know the options available in your area, come up with a plan that works for everyone. Kids may be eager to get back into school until they learn about the stringent safety precautions that have been put into place. Some parents have chosen to homeschool this year, eager to have more flexibility to teach and learn on their own terms. Regardless of what you’ve chosen, make sure you’re all in agreement before moving forward.

Stock Up on Supplies

Whether your kids are going back to school in-person or staying home, you’ll need supplies. Kids going to school will need plenty of masks and hand sanitizer, as well as basic supplies like pencils, paper, notebooks, and scissors. Teachers may not be able to use communal supplies this year, so make sure your child has his or her own.

Kids who are doing remote learning or homeschool will still need basic school supplies, but it may also be a good idea to invest in some technology-focused upgrades. A mouse built for smaller hands, a comfortable desk chair, and a pair of light, well-made headphones are great choices for kids learning from home.

Put Safety Protocols in Place

No matter your setup, it’s always a good idea to have safety protocols in place. Make sure kids are aware of basic safety precautions like hand washing, mask wearing, and covering their face when they cough or sneeze.

This is a great time to institute a new cleaning routine, so kids know how to handle coming home from a public place. Hand washing is a must, and some doctors are even suggesting that kids coming home from school change their clothes and take a shower before touching anyone else.

Regardless of how you choose to educate your children this year, it’s important to stay positive. There will likely be a lot of challenges coming our way, and kids will look to the adults in the room to determine how they should react. If you can model a positive attitude, it will make the coming year a lot easier.

Speaking of moving out of the home, you can also check out Working From Home Woes

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