There’s been much uncertainty from parents on both sides of the decision whether to return to class in person or not for elementary students, and many high school students will be returning in a blended model. There are many things that schools are still working out as to how the school environment will function in these times. Stress is high when dealing with uncertainty, but there are many things we can still do to get prepared while the last few details are working out, making for an easier transition.
Start with the basics
One of the things that hasn’t changed is that kids will still need pencils, paper, and erasers! Go ahead now and buy the supplies that you tend to need year after year. We recommend buying a few extras, since sharing will for sure be a no-no this year.
Buy a couple items slightly different than normal
While many parents do often buy a pouch to carry school supplies in, we strongly recommend making sure that this year it’s a washable one, with a plastic or vinyl exterior that can survive a good, frequent wipe down – and you may want to do the same with the backpack, or even have a backup one if you have canvas bags that will be washed in the machine at home.
We also recommend a vinyl or hard-plastic portfolio to hold loose papers.
Other new basics for the list this year: masks and hand sanitizer.
Many places are recommending that children have as many as 10 to 15 reusable face masks, so that they have two to three every day. We adults can get away with one mask a day when we’re just going out for quick shopping trips, but for extended periods, masks will get sweaty and dirty – and sometimes get lost.
We recommend stashing a plastic grocery bag in your child’s backpack to hold “dirty laundry” and other items that will need washing. Make sure you instruct your child on how to safely remove their mask without touching their faces, washing their hands before putting on the new one.
Be sure to pick up a big bottle of hand sanitizer to fill up little bottles when they need it for best cost efficiency!
For parents with younger children, making sure that masks don’t fall off is important. Lanyards and other cords holding the ear-loops of masks will keep masks from falling to the floor and getting lost… just like a new “mitten protector” for 2020!
Have a tech plan at home
High school students who are learning part time at home will need this for certain, but it is a not a bad idea to ensure that you’re prepared at home just in case the schools feel that they must return to a distance model for a period of time – or if you decide that you are able or want to transition at some point in the year to remote learning. Check out our other blog addressing the tech needs for remote learning to be prepared.
Exercise compassion and patience, and give a helping hand
What we must all remember is that we are in this together! It is likely to be a frustrating time for everyone, but if we do what we can to support one another, everyone will have their best chances to succeed.
Remember, if your child needs some extra support and guidance, we offer remote tutoring that can help them bridge the gap.
Have a safe and happy back to school season!
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