8 Tips to Prepare for Back To School During COVID-19
Preparing Your Kids for Back to School After Quarantine
September is here-and while in past years, this would mean returning to class for the kids, this year is very different. Back to learning could mean going into school for some families while for others, online learning from home will be the new norm.
If your kids are planning to attend school in the coming weeks, transitioning after six months of being at home can feel overwhelming for everyone. Here are some tips to help ease everyone back to a new routine as you gear up to head back to school.
1. Talk to your Kids about Going back to school
It has been a while since they were at school, and as it ended so abruptly, they may have some concerns or hesitations about heading back. Simply taking the time to listen and taking their concerns seriously can go a long way. As a parent, you can help them work through some of those concerns and ease their minds by giving them the right information they need to help them feel comfortable when they head back.
Cover the basics like the importance of maintaining social distancing, wearing their masks and washing their hands.
2. New Schedule, New Routines
There is nothing worse than being thrust into a completely new routine overnight. That’s why getting back to the school schedule sooner than later will make that first day back less painful. Getting back to a regular school night bedtime and wake up time is an important part of the plan, meaning no more sleeping at midnight or waking up at 10am! Your first few days and nights may be faced with protests and frustrated children, but the benefits will result in alert and productive kids when school is back in session.
Bedtime isn’t the only change to help prepare for school. Mealtimes are also another key part to helping the kids get back into a routine. Having access to the kitchen 24/7 for the last six months has surely thrown off the eating schedule somewhat. Whether they are reaching for a slice of Wonder® bread, or sneaking another cookie from the pantry, it’s safe to say school scheduled eating will be tough the first few days (or even weeks). Try introducing breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner at around the same time every day to help with the upcoming transition.
3. Reduce screen time
During lockdown, many parents turned to devices to help keep their kids occupied as they were also trying to adjust to the new work from home reality that they found themselves in. This increase in screen time may be a hard habit to break as you prepare for going back to school or even learning from home for that matter. Try to slowly get back to the amount of time they were given before quarantine. Not only will this help everyone get back to a new routine but also greatly benefit with some of those late bedtimes!
4. Brush up on reading and math
This doesn’t have to be something that consumes your entire day, but a simple 15-30 minutes of working on reading, printing and math will help your child with the transition from home to class. It will also refresh their memory and should help them get back to where they left off.
Want to learn even more about Preparing Your Kids for Back to School After Lockdown? Keep reading!
5. Hand Washing Perfectionists
This is the time to really go over handwashing and have kids demonstrate to you that they are able to wash their hands properly. At school there will be a lot of handwashing, and teachers may not be looking over everyone's shoulders to ensure proper techniques are being used. Use this time before school starts to have your kids become handwashing experts. Give them tips and tricks to make sure they are getting all the fingers, including the thumb, and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Mom tip! If you have a Google Nest ask “Google, help me wash my hands!”
6. Meal Prep
Planning your grocery list ahead to ensure you have lunch and snacks ready for the kids will help get you more organized. Be sure to check with the regulations in place for your child’s school as they vary. One of the easiest meals is a classic sandwich, which requires little effort for your little ones to enjoy safely in the classroom. If you are pressed for ideas get inspired with our recipes page here! Depending on how old your kids are, try making their lunches a bit more fun as well with cookie cutter sandwiches, or other fun lunch box ideas. If you’re able to send lunch in a brown paper bag that can be disposed of after, it may also cut out the need to send your regular lunch bags to school for now.
An additional tip is to ensure you clearly label everything you’re going to be sending to class to help prevent anyone else from using or accidentally taking this stuff home with them. From water bottles for the younger kids to back packs and hats for the older kids, the less they take the better, but ensuring that everyone can identify who’s is what is another way to help prevent the spread!
7. Check the School’s website
There is a lot of information to digest during these times, and the best place to get the most accurate information for your kids and your family will almost always be the school’s website or the school board’s website. Make sure to sign up for all the email lists as well so you are always in the know!
Besides the supply list, there may be additional items children need to bring along this school year like hand sanitizer, tissue paper, or masks. Your school or school board may provide a good list to follow which you can print and leave by the door as a checklist each morning or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site for other helpful tips.
8. After School Clean Up
When the kids return from school, have a routine in place to help ensure that the household remains safe. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider:
- Have the kids wash their hands thoroughly when they come home
- Change the kids out of their school clothes right away
- If possible, move bath time up to the time that they return from school
- Sanitize their school bag and supplies before returning back to their backpacks for the next day