It’s official: we’ve been back to school for almost 2 weeks now. Like, in person, real school. Please don’t freak out. We did what we needed to do, and I’ll support you doing what you need to do.
Back to school in a COVID World is different, of course. Our school made the final announcement that we’d be in-person about a week before we started, so we weren’t totally sure what the first part of the school year would even look like. But now we are back, and my guess is that although your school might be a few weeks or months behind ours, eventually, your kids will be back in school for 2020-2021.
So here’s a few tips for when it’s your turn.
My kids wear masks when we go out in public. So over the summer when we went out, and even right now, we have the kids mask up. It ended up being a really good practice run, because Harlyn now has to wear masks in school. While other younger kids may not have been prepared, Harlyn felt comfortable and ready to wear hers because we’ve had the kids in public with masks more than a handful of times over these past several months.
2. Start talking about your child’s new teacher.
Since our school didn’t have Meet the Teacher Day this year, Harlyn was goin’ in blind. (We had to miss the Zoom Meeting.) If you don’t have a chance to meet the teacher before you head back in person, and your kids are younger, it’s a good idea to get them familiar. We talked a lot about Harlyn’s new teacher, making sure she knew her name and also pulling up her picture a few times to show her what her teacher looks like. This helped her not feel so nervous about going into the school without us on the first day.
3. Prepare them for No Parents
Speaking of going in without us, if your school isn’t going to allow parents in for the first day drop-off, make sure to let your kids know that. We set the expectation that we would not be taking her in, but when she got out of the car, she could just head in and adults would help her find her way. Again, we made sure she knew how to ask for her teacher’s room, and told her where the First Grade classrooms were in relation to her old Kindergarten room. We made sure she knew to just ask for help if she felt confused or nervous trying to find her new room.
4. Try to find a familiar face.
Since we knew this year would be very different, we made sure to ask around and figure out which of Harlyn’s classmates from last year would be in her class this year. Thankfully, several of her girls are also in this year’s class, making it a much easier “sell” to go back to school. Obviously, this tip won’t always be possible depending on your situation.
5. Be POSITIVE.
And the MOST important thing in all of this: be positive. If you show your kids that you are upset about them going back, it’s going to be very hard for them to believe it’s okay and even maybe a good thing to go back. By modeling positivity (and good hygiene!), you will be setting them up for the best possible in-person school situation.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and wonderful school year, no matter what that looks like for you!