Going back to in-person learning will be an adjustment for parents and children. You may find that your child prefers to be in e-learning rather than sitting in a classroom all day. However, with almost three weeks left of summer, there are ways you can prepare your child to go back to in-person learning; while still ensuring that you enjoy the last weeks of summer vacation.
By Ansam Abdeljaber
1- Allow your children to interact with others their age.
Throughout this past year, children had little opportunity to interact with peers. Taking children to the park or the Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn (hint..hint) gives them the chance to meet others their age. It gives children the opportunity to work on their social skills before entering school. Watch how your child interacts with others. Does your child seem unaware of other’s personal space? Do they have a hard time sharing toys with other children? If so, remind them to be conscious of other children.
2- Plan a special day for your child
What’s the one thing your child has been asking you to do that you haven’t gotten around to doing yet? Well, this is a great time to do that thing. During this day, ask your child how they feel about the upcoming school year. Children would feel a bit more at ease since they’ve enjoyed the day, and they are more open to talking about their feelings. Ask your child, what’s the scariest part about going back to school? Is there anything I can do to ease your fears?
3- Flip a Coin Day
While routines and structures are beneficial for children, sometimes having a day full of spontaneity can be a fun way to mix things up. Ask them to pick two options and flip a coin as to which one you will do. For example, flip a coin to decide if you will go out for breakfast or make breakfast at home with the family. This activity allows children the opportunity to adapt to change at the toss of a coin. If your child does not get the option they wanted, remind them that there is still good to come from the activity. Notice how your children adapt to change. Sometimes just talking about the change that will happen can ease your child’s anxieties.
4- Play with Water
With fall around the corner, the opportunity to go swimming won’t be there for long. Going to a waterpark, playing with water guns, or having a water balloon fight is a wonderful way for children and adults to let loose and have fun. Show your child that making time for fun is just as important as school. During the school year, children can put pressure on themselves and constantly strive for perfection. By reserving a day for play, children will learn the importance of having fun.
Giving back to the community is a great way to allow children to meet and interact with people from different walks of life. It allows children to develop empathy and make them feel they are making a difference in the world. Within the classroom, it will allow them to learn how to deal with diversity and develop bonds with children who are much different than them.
Parents, do you worry about your children going back to in-person learning? What are some strategies you have to help your child and yourself for this big transition?