Make Back to School a Smooth Transition with These Tips
State officials have said Pennsylvania schools in “yellow” or “green” counties may hold in-person classes beginning July 1, with approved health and safety plans.
As different School Districts prepare for the reopening of schools for fall 2020, the focus remains on the need to address the recommendations and guidelines for health and safety from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADoH), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Safety and security are the key component in the health and safety planning, and, in case of a local outbreak, schools may shut down immediately.
Kids have been out of school for months, so going back to school may not be as seamless and it’s normal for children and parents to experience a degree of stress when it’s time to start a new school year – so we wanted to share some tips to help ensure as much of a stress-free transition for the whole family as possible.
The key to minimizing back-to-school stress is recognizing the challenges that the start of a new school year can bring, and taking certain steps before the summer ends.
Here are some tips and steps to make for a smooth back to school transition:
To make sure your child is in good physical and mental health, children and teens should have annual medical, vision, and dental checkups.
If there are any concerns about your child’s physical or psychological development, share them with your pediatrician to determine if additional evaluations are required.
While some kids are excited to start a new school year, others dread it to the point of high anxiety, due to previous bullying, separation anxiety, poor academic performance, and even the existence of an undiagnosed mental health issue.
All parents should be reminded that their back-to-school to-do lists also should include paying attention to their children’s mental health.
Start A Sleep Schedule
About a week before the first day of school, start bedtime and wake-up schedules that mirrors your children’s forthcoming weekday routine. Also, make sure your youngsters receive recommended amounts of sleep.
Always Have Breakfast
Mornings can be very hectic, but there should always be time for essentials – such as breakfast. According to the National Education Association, research has shown that breakfast is the most important meal in relation to children’s health (including mental health), academic achievement, and cognitive development.
Set Afterschool Rules
It’s great to sit down as a family before school starts, and have a discussion, agree on, and then write out the afterschool rules.
Determine the amount of time that’s allowed for watching TV and playing games after homework has been done; how many extracurricular activities, such as sports and scouts, can realistically be managed; when and where homework will be done; where will school supplies be kept; etc.
This is a perfect drop zone you can have in your home to help you – and your youngsters – stay organized!
Photo and project by Home One Services.
Create A Family Calendar
Post a family calendar in a central area, such as the kitchen, so you can all stay on track. Lists each family member’s appointments, activities, events, due dates and test dates.
Promote Organizational Skills
In addition to creating a family calendar, support your child in developing personal organizational skills, so he or she can stay on top of assignments, tests and important dates – with use of a white board, a day planner or a smart phone’s notes function.
“Close” Your Summer Nicely
Bringing a positive closure to summer can help lay the foundation for starting the school year on a more upbeat note. Achieve this by a fun family trip, a theme party, or simply by hosting a memorable backyard barbecue.
Parents should also consider the potential need for childcare and alternative educational arrangements for children who are immune-compromised or who live with other severely immune-compromised members.
Finally, make sure your house is providing a safe, comfortable environment for you and your children. Consider clearing out a space in the house – such as in the TV room, bedroom, dining room, office, basement, etc. for kids to use if they do need to stay home and do virtual learning. This space can also be used as a homework haven if they go back for full in classroom learning.
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