It’s time to return to the classroom, and the 2020-2021 school year will be unlike any that has come before.

Parents - you can help prepare your children for a totally new school experience.

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Masks

A big change for students will be that most schools will require everyone to wear masks. To make this transition easier, practice at home.

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Let your child watch the video on how to wear a mask, and then practice together.

Ask your child to check their mask in the mirror. Is it covering their nose, mouth, and chin? 

Along with wearing a mask correctly, kids should avoid misusing masks.

Watch the rest of the video below with your child, for a fun approach to what not to do.

Quiz

Which of the following should a child do with their mask at school?

Hygiene

Students will also have to get used to a new emphasis on hygiene, including hand-washing and not sharing objects. 

Handwashing

Watch this video with your child, and practice washing hands at home.

When students cannot wash their hands, they should use hand sanitizer.

Sharing is not caring (for now)

Many kids have heard the phrase “Sharing is caring,” but until COVID-19 is under control, explain to your child that they cannot share pencils, electronic devices, or other objects. 

Quiz

Which of the following things are appropriate for your child to do at school?

Social Distance

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  • Use objects in your home (like a hockey stick) to help your child understand how far they must stay from others.

  • It may be challenging for children to keep away from their friends. Have a conversation about it beforehand, so they can share any concerns.

Getting Answers

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As guardians and parents, we have many questions about the specifics of what school will be like for our children.

Will they go to school every day?

Will they eat lunch in the cafeteria?

Will they be required to wear masks?

The answers differ between schools, districts, and countries. Find local answers on school, district, and government websites. Contact your child’s school to find out how they will send out information, and be sure you are up to date.

Giving Answers And Managing Anxiety

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Giving Answers

We adults are not the only ones with questions. Our children are also wondering what school will be like. Give your child the opportunity to ask you questions.

You may already be able to answer some questions, and for any you cannot answer yet, you can search for the answer together.

Managing Anxiety

Our children are dealing with the uncertainty that comes with starting school in the middle of a pandemic. Preparing them for dealing with this anxiety can help them deal with anxiety in other situations, too.

Use this video to practice breathing in and out deeply. 

Your child will take their cues from you. If you stay calm, so will they.

How Are You Feeling?

Byte Author Uploaded Image Check in with your child regularly to encourage your child to be aware of their own health. If they start to feel sick, they should tell you before they go to school. And if they start to feel sick at school, they should notify a teacher.

Summary

Children returning to school this fall will look back on this time as one of new rules, new experiences, and new ways of learning.

Have you talked to your child yet? Set aside some time today to check in on how they're feeling.

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This Byte has been authored by

SR

Stephanie Ramsey

Consultant and Researcher