Prepare Your Kids: Going Back to School During a Pandemic
Parents and teachers across Polk County are holding their breath, waiting to hear the final verdict on what school reopening will look like for the 2020-2021 school year. As the original start date of classes looms closer, parents are trying their best to prepare themselves for what lies ahead, whether that be sending their kids back into a brick and mortar school building with COVID protocol in place, or kicking off another year of learning online. Regardless of the decision made by the leadership, preparing your kids for what could be is an important way to help them feel secure, reduce anxiety, and set up for a more successful year, no matter what the learning environment looks like.
We have a few tips to make the transition easier and less scary, and to help you prepare your kids for back to school in a new way for everyone.
- Make masks fun. If your child does go back into the classroom, chances are he or she will be required to wear a mask, as will their teachers, school faculty, etc. We know masks can seem scary, especially to very young students, so take time to talk to your little ones about what a mask does, why it helps keep them healthy, and how they are NOT scary after all. Perhaps let your child pick the colors/patterns for their own masks to make it a personal, enjoyable decision instead of something sterile that is forced.
- Talk about washing your hands! Whether learning from home, or in the classroom, hygiene is a huge part of staying healthy all year long, even without a pandemic. Read books, watch videos, and have talks about viruses, and how washing your hands can help keep them away. If your child understands why they’re washing their hands, they’re more likely to be willing to participate without a fuss.
- Make virtual learning personal. If your child does have to kick off the year from home, make it fun anyway! Help them set up their own work area where they will do school each day. Let them color a fun backdrop for classroom meetings, take time to shop for school supplies online and do the pickup together, plan some fun lunches that you can have with them since they won’t be eating in the lunchroom, etc. You set the tone for how they’ll feel about the year, so make it positive!
- Let them know it won’t last forever. Many kids (and grownups) are suffering with anxiety over the events of this year, and while it seems endless, it’s important to remember that this season will NOT last forever and we will eventually be able to go to school, enjoy sports and activities, and see friends again. Encourage your child to look for the positives in this time, while looking forward to the future with excitement.
We hope this helps spark some conversations with the kids in your life about what school might look like this year, and how it might be different, but it isn’t scary. Your insurance coverage doesn’t have to be scary either. Carroll Marshall Insurance is here to walk you through it one step at a time, helping you get the best rates for your family without sacrificing needed protection. Give us a call to get started!