This year school looks very different for everyone, but we are going back to school in 2020 one way or another.
There is just no way around that. Many children in the United States, left for spring break, were never able to return and the spring slowly transitioned into an uncertain summer. It is now time to go back to school.
For some families that means kids are staying home and adjusting to a completely online environment. Others have a hybrid system of a few days at school and a few days at home. At this point, few areas have kids completely returning to the classroom as normal. “Normal” is a very loose term in the context of 2020. How can you make the transition a little smoother?
Visit the School or Designate Your Home Classroom
If your child is attending a new school this year, they are probably a little anxious about it. Change can be intimidating for anyone and the last thing your child needs right now is more changes. Even though you may not be able to enter the school, just driving by could help raise your child’s comfort level.
If your child is transitioning to an online environment, make sure that they have a dedicated learning space. It is easy to get distracted in a home environment, as may adults who have transitioned to working from home have realized. Well, if we need our own space, kids do as well.
Kids Personal Planning Tool
Having a plan for each day is extremely important. For those with a hybrid school option of home and actual physical attendance, kid have to be able to keep their schedules straight. For those at home, not having a plan could result in them easily being pulled off track without the constant supervision of an in-person teacher.
Depending on the age and personality of the child it can be very difficult to keep your kids organized. Make it fun by allowing them to choose a planner that works for them. For younger kids, this could be a whiteboard calendar they can draw on. Older students may choose a scheduling app for their phone or computer, or you can go with the old-fashioned notebook planner. Don't forget to get some cool stickers.
Set Sleep Schedules in Advance
When it comes to bedtime in the summer, often anything goes and this year, their schedules have likely been all over since about March. This isn’t such a big deal when you kids can stay in their PJ’s until noon (or at least until it is time to go swimming . . . if pools in your area even opened this summer.), but that doesn’t work during the rest of the year.
It is important to get your kids (and yourself) back on a normal sleep schedule. There are a lot of benefits to sleep including better mode, better information retention and overall wellness. Kids may need different amounts of sleep depending on their age, which is also something to be aware of.
Back into Study Mode
This one is pretty kid-specific, but depending on their age encouraging reading is a good way to get back in school mode and preferably not just on a device. A great way to do this is to set aside a specific amount of time for reading each day as you approach going back to school. This may mean substituting out some screen time.
Another great way to encourage reading is to read the same book as your child and then talk about it as you are both reading the book. If your child is not of reading age, be sure to read to them. If they are a new reader, encourage them to read out loud to you.
Be Prepared for Sad Pets
This tip is specific to situations where children will be actually going to school to some degree. Each pet is different so this certainly depends on the pet and the amount of time they will be spending alone.
A pet who feels abandoned is likely to react poorly to being left by themselves. For dogs, this could mean endless barking or howling (driving the neighbors crazy) or destruction of all your pillows. Cats tend to pee on things when upset. Try integrating CBD for pets into their morning meal to take the edge off and keep them even-keel while they wait for the kids to return.
Take Time for Yourself
Kid activity schedules can quickly become overwhelming and this year there is an added element of parents having to supply a lot of the entertainment. Between school, sports (hopefully), homework and whatever else your child may be involved in, it is important to set aside time for yourself. Don’t feel bad about it.
You will be a better parent if you are able to center with your own personal life. This could mean anything from daily meditation to yoga, team sports (if currently applicable), or just a night for you and your close friends or significant other. CBD can also help take the edge off during the transition of the kids going back to school in 2020.
Communication is Key for Back to School Success
It is easy to see that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when sending the kids back to formal learning is the schedule. The earlier you can plan, the better, but be sure not to put too much pressure on yourself when you don’t have all the answers. Make sure to communicate the changes with your child so they feel like they are a part of the process and not just being told what to do. This new learning landscape is scary for everyone, but the more they can be mentally prepared, the smoother it will go.