Even as the global situation escalates, the possibility that schools may reopen again looms on the horizon. This is especially true recently, with the slew of vaccines that are increasingly accessible to everyone. The past year, however, has taken its toll on all of us in ways that are hard to quantify. While children are usually resilient, they may struggle with going back to school after such a long break away from it. Here are a few things that you can do to help make the transition easier, as they settle into the new routine.
The most important thing to emphasize is that going back to school won’t be the same as before. The isolation and social distancing of the past year will have left their mark, and mixed feelings of anxiety, fear, and excitement are not uncommon. The last year has definitely impacted the children’s views of the world, their understanding of it, and their priorities and expectations. They can be much more perceptive than you realize, and it’s best to have a careful talk with them about any concerns that both of you might have about going back to school. Manage their expectations on what it might be like, encourage them to come with you about any difficulties adjusting, and let them know of any possible changes in advance. Clear open communication is the key.
We don’t know what will be different when the schools finally do reopen, but it’s possible to make a very good guess. In the post-covid situation, increased safety and emergency protocols on a societal level seem very likely. In schools, this could present itself in various ways. It could look like an increased emphasis on cleanliness and personal hygiene, hand sanitisers being more available, and continued social distancing. School-wide assemblies may be a thing of the past, and there may be smaller class sizes. Face masks and gloves when you are sick, and as a personal choice otherwise may become the new normal. It’s important to get your child used to the various safety rules and etiquette if they aren’t already familiar with them.
Social interaction has understandably taken a backseat to the more safety concerns in the last year. The effects of this have been especially felt by school children who went from seeing their friends and classmates for more than 8 hours a day, to suddenly not seeing them at all. Even if they are back to playing with others and interacting with them through video calls and virtual classes, they might still be anxious about spending so much time at school again. While more introverted kids may have initially been happy to spend so much time at home, getting used to so many others for such long periods may be stressful. Emphasise the importance of social interaction, communication, and engagement with others and let them know it’s alright if they feel awkward getting used to it again. Encourage their efforts to connect to others, and set up playdates and fun activities if you can.
Even with online classes, the school time routine can be hard to fall back into. Your child has probably had much more free time in the last year and will need to adjust to a strict routine again. You can ease this transition by setting up a schedule that mirrors the one on a normal school day. This would include getting ready early, wearing a uniform, and strict lunch and break times.
While the transition back to school might be nerve-wracking, it will be a welcome change as it signifies the end of the dangerous phase of the pandemic. However, after getting used to homeschooling, there may be many reasons to consider continuing it apart from just safety concerns. There are many advantages to online schooling compared to the traditional methods. If you or your child find yourselves more comfortable with online education, check out our courses at Vineyard Academy.
We offer the Canadian Curriculum – a comprehensive international curriculum that is designed to be taught online. With our excellent Canadian teachers, and a global reputation our K-12 courses and certificate can open many doors for kids homeschooling in Dubai, India and the rest of the world. We also offer various extracurricular courses that can set up your child for future success. Visit our website today for more information.
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