RE-ENGAGING the world after months of being in quarantine and working from home has been a difficult transition for many of us. So, can you imagine what it will be like for the little ones who are now being forced from their pandemic bubble to return to and/or start going to school in person? Borderline traumatic maybe! But it doesn't have to be if we adequately prepare our little loves for this major step.
If you are not sure how to go about it, check our list of guidelines on how to prepare your kids to leave isolation for their classrooms.
Sit your child down for a talk
Nothing much has changed, the threat of COVID-19 is real and while schools might reopen for in-person classes, you spent a year telling the kids that you didn't feel safe allowing them outside and in school. So first you will need to explain to their curious and confused minds that with schools more equipped to reduce the chances of spreading the virus, you are more comfortable allowing them to partake in physical lessons. Also, use the opportunity to recap personal safety lessons that you taught them and to talk about any fear and concerns they may have.
Take advantage of the new curfew measures
The recently announced COVID-19 prevention measures by the Government are the ideal place to start as you prepare your child for the classroom, and for those who had already had the school experience, back to school. This means going to parks, arranging play dates, taking family trips and other activities with children and people outside of those they see everyday at home. This will help them to get less socially anxious and promote more interaction.
Make sure that you equip your child with the resources they will need
Make sure that your child is outfitted with proper fitting masks, face shields, hand sanitisers, soap (even though the school will likely provide this). The correct information is also another valuable tool; make sure that you teach your child the importance of social distancing, keeping on their masks, why it is not safe to trade masks with friends, and tips on interacting with friends safely.
Make the most of summer school (where available)
Summer school is being held for pupils of all ages, and fortunately, toddlers have not been excluded. However, before you get your little ones set up at the school you are considering to enrol them in, make sure to check to ensure that proper safety and sanitation measures are in place because the threat of COVID-19 infections is still here. Being around children should also help to take the edge off and make a September morning transition much easier.
Talk to your child about the new school routine
Even as children might be going back to school, we already know that things are not back to normal. That means that they might not get to play and/or interact with toys and other resources like they would pre-COVID. Constantly remind your kids that they will still need to adhere to safety guidelines to keep you, and other members of the family, as well as themselves, safe. Other safety measures that will be routine that you will need to help your kids do is to wash hands before and after meals, cover hands and nose if he/she gets the urge to sneeze or cough, etc.
Re-establish a school routine
During the lockdown, the kids stayed up a little later and got up much later. You can start now, but if you don't want to rob them of summer privilege, August is a good time to start getting children into a routine that closely mirrors pre-pandemic school preparation — this includes making sure that they adhere to a bed and wake time routine.
Help them get in the frame of mind for school
Make sure that you help your child to brush up and/or refresh important foundational lessons. Like us, they forget things too, and so with your assistance they should either revisit lessons and/or check the curriculum for what is expected of them according to their age. Being freshly caught up on all notes will also help to boost your child's confidence.