Typically at this time of year, both parents and kids are excited about the start of a new school term, but the 2020 back-to-school season is definitely clouded by a lot of uncertainty and anxiety...
Will the kids be returning to socially distanced in-person learning or will they be distance learning? If returning back to school, how will the kids, teachers, staff be kept safe? What protocols will there be if someone tests positive? If distance learning, what will the curriculum look like? How will working from home look like if the kids are also learning from home?
Luckily, whether your kids are getting ready for in-person class or distance learning, there are a few things you can do to make sure they start the day off right...
1. PACK IT UP
Whether your kids are learning from home or attending classes in person this year, the act of packing a backpack is both organizationally and mentally important! First, it keeps everything they will need in one spot. (yay for clean work areas!) Secondly, it prepares them for the day psychologically. Once they pack up and transfer their backpack to their work station, their school day has begun! Time to focus...
2. TIMING IS KEY
It can be incredibly easy to wake up at 7:58 for that 8:00 a.m. class (believe us, working from home is a huge transition!) Unfortunately, not having a schedule even while practicing distance learning can have huge side effects. Creating a wake up and bed time both for you and the kids ensures 1) focus 2) accountability and 3) time to finish everything you need to!
3. MEAL BREAKS
When kids are at school, they are given specific times and breaks for eating lunch and snacks throughout the day. Having prepped lunches and snacks ready for the kids even when they are learning from home gives them a sense of control over their own schedule and some normalcy to their school day. You can even pack lunches in ready-to-eat containers so you and your family don't have to skip a beat!
4. LOOK THE PART
Getting ready for the school day may seem pointless, but just like waking up on a schedule, the act of getting dressed helps the kids mentally focus before their classes begin. Imagine sitting in a classroom in pajamas and a cozy comfy bathrobe... even thinking about it makes us sleepy! That's why getting up, getting ready is important before an at-home or in-person day of learning.
5. ENJOY THE *SYMBOLIC OR ACTUAL* COMMUTE
Even if you don't have to physically drive to school, creating a symbolic "commute" can help kids divide the day into "at home" and "at school" segments. Whether it's a walk around the block, physical act of taking their backpack (packed with everything they need for the day) down the hall to their workspace, or a daily family meeting - one consistent morning task can signify the start of the school day and create a sense of normalcy to the week.
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