The Ultimate Parent Guide 2021/2022 Going Back to School After the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown
Two years ago, we all carried on with our lives without knowing what was awaiting us. Then, Covid-19 came and shook lives; the unexpected happened, lives were shuttered, people feel ill of a strange condition whose treatment and management were not precise, others lost jobs, and countless businesses collapsed. Unfortunately, many more people across the globe lost lives to the condition. The arrival of Covid-19 came with significant life changes, some devastating, while others are positive. The saddest part about the Covid-19 pandemic story is that it is still with us, and its impacts are still being felt across nations. What’s more? Schools were locked down!
Today, we live through a vulnerable and fragile human situation that has caused a sudden and extreme crisis. The Covid-19 problem is alarming since it has unfamiliar and new features that researchers and medics struggle to understand. The world is in a medical emergency that is not fully understood yet to be contained, and worse, one that has transited to an economic disaster. We may never return to our old ways, meaning we will have to adopt new living practices. Are our kids exceptional to the current changes? Unfortunately, no, they too, will have to adapt to new ways of living. This article provides an ultimate guide for parents and guardians as they take their children back to school after the Covid-19 lockdown.
EDUCATE YOUR CHILD ABOUT COVID-19
Just like adults, children have greatly been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, either directly or indirectly. They have also gathered a lot of information about the condition from credible sources and MOST from incredible sources. As such, they are experiencing a considerable amount of stress and anxiety at the thought of going back to school. Some of them have feelings of uncertainty and fear of going back to public places due to so much misconception about the condition. Educating the child about basic knowledge of Covid-19 will boost their confidence as they prepare to go back to school. For example, teach your child about the symptoms and severity of the condition, how it is spread, who is at risk, how it is treated, and how one can prevent himself from contracting the virus. Also, find out what they know about the condition, and correct any misconceptions.
EXPLORE THE CHILD’S FEELINGS ABOUT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL IN-PERSON
Some kids are just not ready for learning after being away from school for a very long period. Some children witnessed very negative impacts of Covid-19 such as deaths, illness, or job loss within their families or in the neighborhood and are yet to come to terms with what happened. One way you can assist your child to transit back to school effectively is by understanding their feelings and worries and exploring their expectations. You may examine your child’s feelings through asking questions, encouraging them to write them down, or through artwork. Involve a professional if you notice a child is going through some form of mental condition or trauma due to the pandemic.
Some of the questions that you may ask your child include:
- Do you look forward to going back to school?
- Are you longing to see your school friends?
- Are you eager to see your favorite teachers?
- Do you miss engaging in favorite games?
- Are you afraid that you will contract the coronavirus?
A dialogue with your child will help solve their fears and trigger their memories about school. It will also help you understand your child’s feelings about going back to school. You will know what your child feels about living the comfort of home to go back to a school’s tight schedules. Based on your findings, you will encourage and comfort them and find ways to reassure them. For instance, you may help the child understand what the school management is doing to uphold children’s safety. Also, reassure your child about their ability to play and enjoy life just like in the past, though there may be some changes involved. Lastly, include their teachers and friends in the conversation to build more reassurance.
ASSIST YOUR CHILD TO ADAPT TO VIRTUAL LEARNING
Due to the new covid-19 protocols, there is a higher chance that your child will engage more in remote learning than in physical class learning. The opening of educational institutions and schools is voluntary, as other countries are making online learning a primary education platform until the pandemic is managed. The transition from physical to virtual classrooms could be challenging for students. You may apply the following steps to help your child adapt to the new learning methods.
Get Rid of Destructive Applications.
Most children in today’s contemporary world are computer games and application ‘experts.’ A vast population of children of as low as three years is active users of computers and smartphones, among other gadgets. Unfortunately, most of them use technology responsibly and unhealthy, while others only use them in gaming. As computers and mobile devices become learning platforms, parents should ensure that their children only access education applications until the end of the class sessions. In addition, they should remove all the distractive apps that may hinder smooth learning.
Create a Good Learning Environment for your Child
Online learning calls for your kid to spend several hours per day in front of a computer. Therefore, you should ensure that they have comfortable seats, a well-aerated room, and a serene environment for effective learning. Learning can only be effective in a cozy room with the list distraction. Importantly, you should ensure that your child gets regular breaks during the learning schedule to avoid fatigue.
Ensure the Learning Gadget is Free of any Technical Error
Nothing is as frustrating as slow network connectivity or dysfunctional keyboard, to mention a few technical errors that can make online learning very disappointing. Therefore, ensure that the learning gadget is free of any mistakes before the child begins the class. Failure to solve such issues will hinder smooth and practical learning.
Closely Supervise the Progress of your Child.
Online class learning means that your child does not have the immediate supervision of the teacher. As a parent, you should ask your child how he or she is progressing in the class. Discuss and review the lessons that the child has studied, and find out if they need any clarification. By examining the class sessions, you will identify problems and challenges that the child could be facing through virtual learning and find the best solution possible.
Manage Time that your Child Spend on Screen.
Many children are computer and Smartphone heavy users or addicts. Such children will be eager to switch from school work to gaming or other enjoyable activities. Such actions will cause kids to spend too much time on screen. Educate your child on the problems associated with excessive use of modern technology and the repercussions of not having enough physical activities. You may introduce your child to other activities away from the computer, such as jogging, gardening, and reading books.
Lockdown caused a lot of changes in our lives, including time adjustments. Children’s sleeping patterns changed during the lockdown, with most sleeping and waking up late than usual. Restructuring these sleep patterns to the regular school routine will initially be difficult, but with patience and guidance, they will eventually adjust. You can readjust time to fit the school routine by reintroducing the former sleeping and waking hours routine. Adjust the sleeping hours and waking hours back to how it was before the lockdown. Such time adjustments a few days to the school opening date will help children quickly adapt to school life. You may also reduce TV time and discourage daytime naps. Reintroduce the school routine at home, and stick to it until they go back to school. Also, give your children ample time to prepare for school to avoid a rush that may heighten tension and stress.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, many kids disconnected from learning and school work. They spent months playing and having fun. It will not be easy to readjust to a life that calls for more concentration and more work. Homework is work, and most children find work tedious. You can assist kids in handling homework, but don’t do it for them. Only offer help where necessary, without solving all their mistakes, list their teachers think that they are perfect. Doing homework together will create a moment where you will not just connect, but you will also understand your child’s school progress after the lockdown.
Engaging in your child’s activities will boost their confidence and love for school. For example, you can offer little gifts and incentives if your child is refusing to do homework. Also, notice and congratulate them for every little milestone they make in their school work. You can also make reading exciting by including games during the session. For instance, you can sing some letters or read out loud just for fun.
You can encourage your child to embrace reading after the long break from school by gradually introducing reading routines. Secondly, make reading fun by submitting reading games and playing characters, among other enjoyable activities. Since reading is a social activity, remote learning could pose a significant challenge. Therefore parents and family members will require to fill in the gap of the teachers to make the program successful. Parents and teachers will also need to work together to maintain reading programs despite the social distancing aspect. Families can also use digital tools that make reading and writing fun. Check out our reading program.
While you may not be a mathematician, you can help your child handle mathematics and cope with the subject after a long time away from school. One way to help your child is by staying positive and not criticizing him for failing. Avoid using negative messages when your child falls, instead of attacking; rather, help the child tackle the challenging questions. Talk more about math, even in informal ways, to increase your child’s interest and allow them to view it as a normal part of life. You can also improve your child’s love for math by asking them to teach you! You can also have a mathematics tutor for your child if you feel that you can’t assist them. Importantly, take it slow! Don’t force, don’t push. Check out our math program.
Covid-19 is quite unpredictable due to its mutative character, and therefore no one knows how long we shall live with it. As such, we must make necessary adjustments to carry on with life. While the anxiety is still very high, parents have a significant role to play to help their children cope, and get a positive transition back to school, whether physically or virtually. This article has provided you with an ultimate guide to transiting your child smoothly back to school despite the pandemic.