Going back to school can be tough, even in ordinary circumstances — but this has not been another ordinary summer vacation. No one could have prepared for the turn of events that closed out the school year for 2020. E-learning from home was quite the curveball, and brought with it feelings of confusion and frustration, as well as a longer than normal school break. With the lengthened time away from typical classroom instruction, many parents have been left to wonder how they’ll ever get their kiddos in the back-to-school groove.
Indy’s Child spoke to veteran moms and educators to ask for tips on how to help students prepare for the switch back to a normal school routine. Try some — or all — of these ideas, and make the summer-to-school transition a success for your family!
Amy Hardin is a 1st grade teacher at Amy Beverland Elementary School, and mom of a soon-to-be 8th grader.
Hardin, like most of us, realizes the new school year will be filled with change and that it might be a tough adjustment for our children. She shared the following words of wisdom:
“My advice to families as we navigate yet another learning curve with the reopening of our schools this semester, is to remain proactive rather than reactive,” Hardin says. “Plans are going to change, alternatives may be unfavorable but necessary, and compromise is going to be the new norm. But as adults, we can establish the tone during these unprecedented times, or ‘choose our weather’ as we like to say at Amy Beverland.
“It will also be extremely important for families to feel comfortable with electronic forms of communication and remote learning at their child’s school. Do not hesitate to ask for help with this! As a parent and an educator, I know that we need to greet these changes with a mindful, ‘can do’ attitude, so that we focus our energies on the things most important to us and those things within our control.
“Lastly, I will advise families to give grace generously — to others, to your loved ones and to yourselves.”
Lindsay Romeril is a local mom of three children aged 11, 7 and 3.
Romeril has a few tricks up her sleeves when it comes to helping her kiddos ease back into a new school year. “After the long summer break and e-learning, you definitely need to get kids excited to go back to ‘regular’ school,” she says.
Romeril’s tips include:
- Talk with your kids about meeting their new teacher. Talk about the things they’ll learn in their new classroom.
- Remind them they’ll get to see old friends again, especially since they might not have been able to see many of them over the summer. They might make some new friends, too!
- Pick out new clothes for the first day (or week) of school. Even if my kids have plenty of summer clothes, they love to pick out a brand-new outfit and a good pair of school tennis shoes.
- Go back-to-school shopping! My kids look forward to choosing their own school supplies, and getting new gear like backpacks or lunch boxes.
- Less screen time during the summer helps as well. Being active and engaged while on break helps with a smooth transition back to learning and focusing in a classroom.