Back to School During the Time of COVID-19

by Lisa Vasquez, NHPHA Communications Chair

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many rites of passage. One of these important transitions is back to school. A time when parents and children prepare to change routines from summer fun to school curricula. Transitioning to a new grade is hard enough when we are not in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. So what can parents do to help their children do their best and lessen their anxiety and stress during this new school year? Here are a few things that might help you have a successful remote learning experience:

  • Talk with your child ahead of time to share what the parent’s and child’s expectations are for the incoming school year. It’s always important that be on the same page and it helps to communicate if those expectations are being met or if improvements need to be made along the way.
  • Make sure you maintain communication with the school and the child’s teacher to understand what is expected from the school’s perspective.
  • Create a quiet space conducive to learning. Our homes are all different sizes and layouts. Try to make a quiet space dedicated to learning for your child. Try to limit distractions in that space. If the space needs to be shared try to get headphones for when students are on zoom or other platforms that may cause others in the room to get distracted. 
  • Make sure you have all the materials you need for remote learning. Talk with the school, many schools are providing laptops and internet services are being provided by community agencies in some areas. Schools are providing packets of class materials so parents can be involved in the learning process.
  • Create a routine for your child. A time to work on school assignments, food breaks, and time to get in some exercise or physical activities.
  • Be flexible, everyone has different needs and has different learning styles, one routine might not work for all your children if you have more than one remote learner. 
  • Check in with your children on how they are doing both academically and emotionally. Remember this is something new and different and just as you might find it difficult so may your child. Let your child know that you are there to listen and remind them that they are not alone.
  • Create a network of other children that your child can communicate with. We all need a community of support to help us during these unprecedented times.
  • Remember is about progress not perfection. Teaching our kids to improve where they need is a better lesson than demanding perfection (which may cause undue stress during an already stressful time)
  • Remember that change is hard on everyone. Give yourself time and space for self-care and encourage your children to also take time for self-care and sharing of feelings. From NHPHA we wish you a healthy and productive 2020-2021 school year.

For additional resources, please visit your school district website, the NH Bureau of Student Wellness, or https://www.edutopia.org/.

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