2020 has been a very different year for everyone. Global pandemic played a huge role changing people’s lives. When schools opened back in November, I was very anxious sending my kids to school, but I had no other choice. Thankfully everything went well before starting a Christmas break, but then another lockdown started.
Since the beginning of the 2o21, we all have been looking forward to the start of the school. It is very difficult for children to stay home all the time when they are used to meeting friends and actually going to the classes. Teachers have done amazing job with providing online classes, but still, it is not the same as going to school. Girls have been doing their homework a lot, but they are not as motivated as in the school.
Finally, government announced that we are will be starting school on the 8th of March. Kids are super excited and we are already getting the uniforms ready. Although we all were in lockdown, every family’s experience will have been different, and local restrictions now mean everyone is facing different challenges.
From 8 March all children and students should return to school and attendance will be mandatory once again from this date. So I have put together my top tips for going back to school to help kids:
- Start preparing before:
There was not a single day when kids didn’t ask me when they would go back to school. It was very difficult to explain to them that I had no answer to this question. Now that we know that school finally starts, I have been trying to prepare them beforehand. I remind them all the time that school is starting soon and every time I mention this, they get so excited.
- Explain how to be careful at school:
Not that they would forget washing their hands and wearing masks when necessary, but still it is useful to remind them about this. Recap what their institution is doing to make things as safe as possible, as well the things they can do themselves to stay safe from the virus. This should help ease any anxiety – for them and for you.
- Reconnect with friends:
One of the things kids are mostly excited about going back to school is meeting their friends. We go through the pictures and sometimes video call our friends and they tell how much they miss each other. This will help them get more excited about seeing their friends.
- Encourage the child to regain some of their independence:
Gaining more independence and increasingly doing more things without parents is an important and natural part of growing up. Chances are that at school they will be more responsible for small things like making sure their book bags are packed at the end of the day, and getting their work done on time, but at home this may not be the case
- Talk enthusiastically about school to build up excitement:
Every child is different. Some are very excited about going back to school and some are very nervous leaving their parents and are not a huge fans of the school. For example, one of my daughters love the school where younger one not really likes it because she is very attached to me and does not want to leave me. What I usually do is speak with both of them together about how exciting the school is and how many things they can learn there. I talk them through all of the fun things they will be doing over the year, and discuss the friendships they will build. I noticed it really helped the younger one.
- Re-establish a routine
Routines can be reassuring too. Try to get into the swing of what worked before as far as possible in terms of healthy eating, activity and sleep, or think about new routines that work better for the situation as it is now. If you allow them to watch phones or tablets, try to slowly cut down the time to minimum so they can focus on other things instead.
There’s likely to be a lot of uncertainty around school life now, so listening to our children’s thoughts will be really helpful. I think we should reassure them that whatever they’re feeling is understandable and reasonable.