By Muhammad Shahmir Masood – Digital Communications and Development Intern
The new school year can be a time of excitement and joy but also anxiety and apprehension for parents and kids. Personally, we can all recall the frantic time before the start of the school year as we tried to discover where our class was his year, if our friends were in the same class and how nice the teachers were? With the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 this anxiety is more than ever for families this year.
We have compiled a list of top tips to help you prepare for going back to school.
- Reach out to teachers and staff
“Will I like my new teacher?” This is a question that everyone can relate to as a child in school or as a grownup who attended school. In fact, this can turn into one of the biggest back-to-school fears. Helping you kids break the ice and connect with their teachers and staff at school can go a long way towards calming their fears.
With the Covid-19 crisis, try to follow provincial and federal health guidelines and meet virtually. Schools and community organizations such as Moorelands have increased their efforts to reach out to their kids in this time of crisis through virtual programs such as phone calls or e-mails of staff who can serve as an avenue of support.
If personal contact with the teacher isn’t possible, try locating the teacher’s picture on the school website or in a yearbook, so your child can put a name with a face. Some schools also send out welcome packets through mail, try to read through it together with your child and craft a response together.
- Visit the school
If your child’s school has an open house or day, make sure to go. This will help familiarize your child with their environment and help them deal with anxiety and nervousness on the first day. Together you can meet their teachers, see their playground and find their class.
With a child already enrolled in school, you might ask him to give you a tour of the school. This will give them an opportunity to lead, help you engage and connect with your child and refresh their memories.
This year a school tour might not be possible or advisable but virtual methods can be even more interesting. Try showing your child your school on Google Maps or Street View. Another option could be to look up the school’s website, some schools offer a virtual walkthrough of the school too!
- Reconnect with friends
Help your children reconnect or make new friends as a friend by the side can make the difference and help your child have an enjoyable school year. Try to reach out to parents and their children from last year.
To ensure social distancing and safety guidelines, try reaching out virtually. Try connecting with parents on social media Facebook, Instagram etc, create a social support group of parents and work with parents to arrange phone and video calls to help children connect.
- Plan, prepare and exercise
Planning, preparing, and exercising may be the most important thing families can do to prepare for school this year. Help your children overcome anxiety and practice health and safety guidelines for schools this year such as social distancing, practicing hygiene and adopting safety equipment. If your school is making any changes to scheduling or operating procedures, make sure to properly familiarize everyone with them. Make washing hands and adopting other safety procedures a fun activity by practicing at home.
More details about the Ontario school reopening plan can be found here.
In the meantime, if you need to deal the anxiety and apprehension we are all feeling as we wait for school to start checkout our virtual programs.
- “Back to School Tips for Parents” PBS KIDS for Parents. Retrieved September 1, 2020 (https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/back-to-school-tips-for-parents).
AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS ARE ONLINE THIS FALL
Learn more about online BLAST, LED and VITAL and apply!