Navigating the pandemic has been difficult for everybody, but especially for our school-aged children. Schools across the country all have had different guidelines for what’s the best way to keep educating children during these unprecedented times. While some are now open for full time in-person learning, other districts gave parents the option for a hybrid or fully remote learning model.
At times it can feel like there’s a lot of uncertainty in what’s the best decision to make for you and your family. Here are some tips that can help both parents and kids in the transition for getting back to school.
Don’t Feel Guilty
No matter what your decision is, try not to feel guilty for it. Guilt can come if you need to make a tough decision that you don’t fully agree with, but know it’s ultimately best. When it comes to this pandemic, everyone has different life circumstances that may force their hand in one direction or another. If you need to send your kids back to school so you can go back to work in an office, that’s okay. It’s also okay to homeschool your kid if that’s what makes you feel the most comfortable. Trust that any decision you make is ultimately the best decision for your family.
Don’t Judge Others
Everyone is navigating this pandemic and having different experiences. While you may find it’s a necessity to homeschool your children, your neighbor’s family may decide that sending the kids back to school is a better decision. Both families made the decision that’s best for them. Try not to judge others for a decision that’s different from your own, as you also don’t know the circumstances behind them making that decision. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and we all wonder if we’re making the best decisions for our kids.
Support Your Kids
Try to make the school year as normal of an experience as possible. If you’re trying homeschooling for the first time, try getting into a typical “school day” rhythm that they’re used to. If you’re sending your kids back to school for in-person learning, do your best to talk with your kids about any fears or concerns they may have. Regardless of circumstances, it’s important to support your kids in this strange time. Let them know that however they are feeling is okay and that you’re there to support them. Living in a pandemic is not a normal situation and any emotion can present itself. If your kid is happy and excited about being able to go back to school, let them be happy. If they’re nervous or anxious, talk through it with them and let them know they’ll be okay.
Keep Family Time A Priority
When day to day life changed drastically in 2020, you may have gotten to spend a lot more time with your family. Be sure to keep this a priority, even as life starts to go back to normal. Our kids are only kids for so long, and getting to spend time with them is a gift. Have hard conversations with them, but also have a game night, go on a hike, or do something with them that they’ve been wanting to do that you didn’t make time for before.