Every year, around this time, parents all over the world are usually rejoicing as kids go back to school and a sense of routine is returned to the household.
But this year is a little different. Maybe kids aren’t even going back to school in your area, as some districts have decided on only remote learning environments this year. In other areas, parents have the choice of whether to send their kids back to school or homeschool.
With all the uncertainty, you may be feeling a bit nervous or even sad to send your kids back to school. You’re probably not alone.
There can be a lot of emotions around going back to school this year. So at Fleek Kidz, we’ve put together some tips for parents and kids to navigate this strange year going back to school during COVID…
Tips For Parents
Whatever you’ve decided to do for back to school, we applaud you. We know it wasn’t easy…You probably weighed the pros and the cons, the knowns with the unknowns, and did a lot of research into available options.
And your kids probably had some ideas of their own about which option is best.
Whatever you’ve chosen to do, the important thing to remember is ...
Don’t Feel Guilty
If you’ve chosen to send your child back to school, good for you! If you need to send your kids to school so you can go to work, don’t feel guilty. It’s just what has to be done. You’re a good parent and making the right decision for your family.
If you’ve decided to homeschool your kid, great choice! Don’t worry about your kids becoming anti-social. They still have friends. They can find ways to get together, maybe attending sports or just hanging out in the neighborhood.
Use social media to connect with other homeschooling families. You can coordinate field trips and it could be a great opportunity for your kids to meet new friends.
There’s not only one right decision. Everyone has to make the right choice for their kids and their family.
Don’t Judge Others
Whatever is best for your family might not be the best choice for another. Let’s support each other as parents trying to make the best decision for our kids.
After all, as parents, we all have a bit of insecurity. Parenting didn’t come with a manual. We all wonder if we’re doing the right thing.
So let’s try to lift each other up. Offer support and words of encouragement to your fellow parents. It will make you feel good as a person, and it’s a great example for our kids to see us respect other people’s personal choices.
Just Do What You Can
Do what you can to make back to school as normal as possible. Help your kids feel comfortable and confident.
Remind your family to wash their hands regularly and do things to keep yourselves healthy. Get fresh air. Go for a walk. Eat healthy foods, and get enough rest. All of these things can help to naturally boost your immune system.
And don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take time for yourself and do something you enjoy.
The little bit of time you take for yourself can give you more patience throughout the day. And we can all use a little more patience to…
Support Kids in This Strange Time
Let’s be honest, none of us have had to deal with a situation like COVID in our lifetime. And our kids are looking to us to take the lead and show them how to handle it. Be strong and confident.
Keep asking your kids about their day. Ask how they feel at school. Do they feel safe? Do they feel they have some control over how they can keep themselves safe?
Help them address any of their concerns or worries. Help them find a balance between keeping themselves safe and comfortable, and not living in fear and anxiety.
But however they feel, let them know it’s normal. There’s no one right way to feel about this situation.
Kids are resilient. If your child is excited about school and seeing their friends, be happy for them. Let life go on.
Instead of pushing our beliefs and concerns on them, maybe we can step back and take a lesson from them about staying calm and not worrying so much.
Worrying isn’t going to change anything anyway. So enjoy each day. Spend more time doing what you love, with the people you love.
One way we can keep life going is to...
Keep The Family Time Going
What a great year 2020 has been for family time. Time for playing, time for games, time for reading. Really connecting with each other, and with nature, as a lot of people spent more time outside.
So many great opportunities for the family time everyone was craving. Remember running around to work, back home, to after school sports, to rushing to make dinner, then going to bed. Only to do it all again the next day?
And with all that running around, did we have time to really get to know them? Did we make time for meaningful conversations? Or were you just trying to get through the day?
Our kids are growing so fast. Quarantine was a gift of more time than we knew what to do with. It gave us more time to play with our kids and really connect. It’s been great. Hopefully, you took advantage of it. And it doesn’t have to end.
We all want to get back to a sense of “normal” but we don’t have to go back to the way it was. We can prioritize time with our kids. Prioritize unstructured playtime, downtime, and conversations.
Keep enjoying it. Keep playing games. Keep cuddling up with a book.
Get to know that new video game your kid likes. Try it for yourself. Play more together!
Now, we’re not saying we get rid of a routine altogether, we’re suggesting…
Make Family Time Part of the Routine
As much as kids whine about getting up in the morning and having to go here and there, deep down kids love routine. Routine gives kids a sense of security knowing what to expect throughout their day.
Your kids have probably gotten used to having you around more than you used to be and they probably liked it. Depending on their age, they might start to have some separation anxiety about being apart.
Or they could just start missing the time you used to have together. Just like adults, kids can get frustrated when something messes up their routine.
So make family time part of your daily routine, or wherever you can fit it in. Remind yourself what activities you did together to pass time at home during quarantine, and keep doing them. You can even try new ones.
As more places start reopening, you can even take your family time out to places you used to go. You can even go on some new adventures.
Now we’ll get to our tips for the kids...
Tips For Kids
Okay, okay, we really only have one tip for kids going back to school. Whether it’s back to a physical school or homeschool, all you have to do is…
Yup, that’s it, HAVE FUN! You’re only a kid once, enjoy it. Let the parents and teachers worry about all the boring adult stuff.
Have fun with your friends, enjoy your classes and teachers. Learn new things. Apply yourself in all you do, and be the best you can be.
Play hard, and remind your parents to join in the fun with you.
Back to School Conclusion
Back to school has always been an exciting time for kids. They love back to school shopping for new school supplies and clothes.
There’s the anticipation of a new teacher, a new class, maybe new friends. They’ll also look forward to reconnecting with old friends and favorite teachers.
This time of year can also bring the comfort of a predictable routine, structure, and security.
Going to school also gives kids a chance to explore the world and express themselves outside of their family dynamic.
It can give them access to things and experiences they might not get at home. Like a full library, musical instruments, and a gym full of equipment. It’s all part of their development into becoming their own little person.
Enjoy the journey!
Are your kids going back to school or homeschooling this year? Let us know in the comments!