Setting Our Kids Up For Success in Uncertain Times
To say it’s been a strange school year is probably the ultimate understatement. With so many of our kiddos being bounced between remote learning to hybrid learning to in person learning, this past year has presented a slew of challenges beyond anything we could have foreseen.
Now as many districts begin to transition back to in person learning or as we plan for our kids to begin next school year in person, there are some things to keep in mind that will help to best support what may be a bit of a bumpy transition.
Angelica, our amazing Social Worker, gives us some excellent insight and advice as we plan for this next unprecedented step in our kid’s learning.
What This Year Has Been…
As we come to a full calendar year of living in a pandemic, we can look back and see a bit clearer the effects it’s had on our kids, their way of life and their learning experiences.
It’s been a school year of major adjustment, in person or remote, and those changes have sustained for months. Our kids have had to become the ultimate learning chameleons and with that, shoulder a lot of extra stress and anxiety.
For kids who have learned remotely all year they are faced with motivation issues, unconventional schedules and maybe some complacency as the structure of the classroom was taken away.
These kids may have rallied against remote learning in the beginning but are now comfortable with it and not as willing to go back to a traditional classroom.
For our in person or hybrid learners, they have dealt with a very non-traditional school day – days unlike any they have known before in their academic careers.
Perhaps they have been flipped back and forth between in person and remote, maybe they are only in school a few days a week and online others. This inconsistency has become their constant.
How We Can Support Our Learners…
With the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel shining a bit more brightly, parents and educators alike can start to think about the ways we can help best support our kids as they transition back into a fully in person learning environment.
Start The Conversations
For our kids transitioning back to in person learning, having honest conversations about what that change will look, feel and be like are so important.
- Encourage them to ask questions, talk about their worries, talk about what they’re excited for.
- Be a sounding board and supporter – don’t worry too much about the reassuring, let them voice their thoughts, concerns or questions and work as a team to help get those things addressed; “I don’t know that answer to that, but let’s find out.”
- Suggest writing an email together to the principal or teacher with questions they have. This will not only ease their mind but it’s a great way to foster independence and self advocacy.
Treat The Return To School As You Would The First Day
For kids going back to in person learning, their return is a lot like their first day of school, so plan that way!
Go over daily schedules, get supplies set and ready, confirm and review the new in person procedures, maybe even ask to tour the school and classroom beforehand to make sure your kiddo is well prepared for their first day back.
Set Consistent Daily Schedules and Stick To Them
A normal, consistent day sort of went out the window this year for so many kids. Remote schedules changed, sleep schedules changed, break times during the day changed.
As we begin the transition back, it’s crucial to set a daily schedule that is consistent. Bedtime and wake ups should remain the same, after school time and structure should remain the same.
The more consistency we can give our kiddos during the transition and beyond, the better off they will be.
Remain Flexible and Create a Positive Mindset
This goes for not just our learners but parents as well!
The transition back to in person learning may be rough, it may bring up lots of uncomfortable feelings and it will take time to find our new normal – remember to be flexible with your expectations through it all!
Your attitude and mindset will greatly influence theirs. Keep the positivity up but remember to be realistic – there will be bumps but if our kids know we will get through them together and find solutions, they will be better able to remain open and positive.
We Are In This Together
No one has to go this alone!
As we face yet another big transition for our kids and families please ask for help and support if you need it. Our team is here and ready to help, don’t hesitate to reach out!