Whether your children are schooling from home, virtually or are going to school, back to school in the new normal has changed things.
In some of our previous posts we’ve touched on how Covid-19 has impacted businesses, however, they are not the only ones that have been impacted. Just like their parents, children have suffered a great deal of change due to the pandemic. Overnight, they went from being able to go to school to get an education and to see their friends every day to being forced to stay home and adjust to virtual learning. As adults, figuring out how to adjust to restrictions has not always been an easy task, so one can only imagine what life as we now know it has been like for our children. The fear, not being able to see friends and family, navigating school virtually and not knowing how long this will all last, undoubtedly adds a thick layer of stress for our young ones.
Home-schooling is also no easy feat whether by choice or by force. Teaching requires a certain level of patience, understanding and attention that can be quite difficult to provide as a parent who is now working full-time from home. Additionally, the social interactions school provides are a crucial part of development for children but can be hard to achieve while trying to balance work. Still, it can be agreed upon that our safety and that of those around us became far more important, so we all learned to adjust.
As the weeks turned into months and the question of whether or not schools would reopen for in-person learning loomed, we continued to cope, hoping that kids would be able to return to school safely in the Fall. We are now in September and completing the second official week of schools reopening in-person. Although working from home and trying to help kids with the virtual school was a difficult balancing act, there is no doubt that many parents struggled with deciding whether to opt into continuing with virtual learning or to allow their kids to return to school. Choosing to send kids back to school in-person means they are now away from you the parent where you can monitor their interactions and ensure they are being safe. You are forced to trust that while at school everyone including your child is following social distancing rules and that their respective schools have adequate safety protocols in place. If making the decision to continue with virtual learning, you will now have to go back to structuring your workday in a manner that allows you to be available to help your children with their school work. Each decision is equally reasonable and comes it its own set of pros and cons. Either way, there are some things you can do to help make the school year a little easier for everyone.
Tips for parents with kids in school:
- Follow a similar routine with regards to hand hygiene at home and at school
- Buy masks that kids would enjoy wearing eg. masks with a character from their favourite show or movie
- If working from home, try to maximize your productivity while kids are out of the home so that you can be available to help with homework when they return
- Be prepared to answer questions and provide assurance as they adjust to a very different type of life at school than they’re used to
Tips for parents with kids at home:
- Create a routine as if they had to leave home for school
- Space permitted- create designated areas in the home for both you and your child/children to work
- Where possible, have children prioritize work that they can do independently and allocate times throughout the day to help them when needed
- TALK to them- being at home means your kids will be relying on you more to fill the gap of not being able to see their friends
For most parents and children alike, home is a place to relax, unwind and escape the struggles of the day. So most importantly, be sure to nourish and protect that sacred space so that both you and your children can continue to cope effectively with what awaits outside.