The beginning of this school year promises to be unique in many ways. Whether your students return to school full-time, participate in a hybrid plan, or work remotely from home, they are going to face some adjustments. Young people are resilient, and you might be surprised at how well they handle all the changes. Here are some ways to help your students be successful no matter how they will be learning this year.
1. Manage Expectations
It is important to talk to your children about the current school plan for your district and the decisions your family has made. Uncertainty can cause children and adolescents anxiety, so being transparent with them about how the school will look for them this year is important. Be sure to reassure them that this situation is temporary, and they will return to a regular school schedule eventually. If they are attending school in-person, practice wearing masks and methods of greeting their friends so they can maintain social distancing.
2. Designate Space and Stock Up On Supplies
Whether your students are working remotely or attending school full-time, it is useful to have a workspace designated for them to complete their assignments. Depending on how your students work best, this could be a desk in their bedrooms or a corner of the family room. Using the table or desk only for schoolwork will help them focus and separate work from free time. Having the supplies they need on hand will reduce stress and eliminate the need for a last-minute run for markers or poster board.
3. Maintain A Schedule. During the traditional school year, this is much easier to accomplish because of the daily school schedule that might include sports practices, after-school classes, or clubs. Though it might be more difficult when students are home all day, it is just as important to maintain a daily routine of wake-up and bedtimes, meal and snack times, and work and playtimes. It is so easy for students to be overly immersed in their devices when they are learning online, so make sure to schedule some screen-free time for the family each day.
4. Plan Your Outfits. Choosing your clothes the night before or even planning outfits for a week saves a lot of time and frustration in the mornings and helps everyone get out the door on time. If your students are working remotely, consider requiring them to dress for school, just as if they were attending in person. It will put them in a professional mindset for the school day ahead and prevent any accidental pajama sightings on their online classes. Then, when they’re done with their assignments and on-line lessons, they can change back into their favorite comfy pajama pants.
Set aside some regular time to talk to your students about how they are handling all the changes, and, if they are struggling, what they need to feel more successful. It is also important that you feel comfortable communicating with your students’ teachers, counselors, and administrators. Make sure you have their email addresses and telephone numbers handy so you can reach out when you need them. Maintaining a family calendar of activities, especially if your students are sharing electronic devices to complete assignments, will help alleviate some of the stress everyone is feeling right now.
6. Plan Your Meals & Snacks
This year is going to be hectic. Planning dinners (and even breakfasts and lunches!) a week at a time helps make grocery shopping easier and reduces last-minute decision stress. Include your children in the planning, preparation, and clean-up. If they are old enough, let them plan and prepare meals. It will give them something purposeful to do and help them learn new skills. Mealtime is a great time to connect with your children and hear their thoughts and feelings. Don’t forget to add Superberries Aroniaberry Gummy Chews to your snack list. Our gummies are made from the top antioxidant, the Aronia berry. Aronia berries are so important in helping us maintain good health.
7. Have Recess
Even if your children are too old for recess at school, plan exercise fun time with the family. You could take walks together, play games outside, or have indoor dance parties. However, you do it, have fun. Physical activity and laughter are some of the best ways to lower your stress levels.
No matter what this year brings, be gentle with yourselves. Adapting to change isn’t easy. Just make sure that you do the best you can and ask the same of your children. Teachers and administration do care about your children and want them to be safe and learning, just as you do. Ask for help when you need it, because everyone needs support now and then.