Helping Your Children Return to School After Coronavirus Closures

Guest Blogger, Jenna Sherman of Parent-Leaders

None of us were prepared for the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown, and it’s hard to tell what effect this whole ordeal has had on our children. Now, as schools make plans to reopen, kids and parents have to navigate a whole new set of challenges. Will your children be able to pick up where they left off? Do they need help getting up to speed on their studies? Can you protect your family from COVID-19 when your kids return to their crowded classrooms? Here are some great resources to answer your questions and prepare your kids for a smooth back-to-school transition.

Smoothing the Transition

Your kids may be excited to go back to school, but they may also feel a little overwhelmed by the abrupt change.

  • Encourage your kids to talk about their concerns.
  • Have your children start going to bed earlier a week or two before school starts again.
  • Plan school lunches and weeknight meals ahead of time to reduce household stress.
  • Your child may benefit from the support of a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Learning at Home

Help your children get back on track with their studies by supporting learning at home.

  • Make sure your kids have a calm and quiet place to study at home.
  • Look for teachable moments throughout your daily life.
  • Research at-home educational resources online.
  • Find ways to apply what your kids are learning in school to real-world situations.
  • If you have younger kids, read with them every night.
Avoiding COVID-19

While schools are reopening with special plans in place to protect students and educators, don’t hesitate to take your own COVID-19 precautions. 

  • Send your kids to school with effective hand sanitizer.
  • Make handwashing a fun activity for your kids.
  • Encourage your kids to choose outdoor play when possible.
  • Deep clean and disinfect the surfaces in your home frequently.

It’s okay if your children are worried or anxious about returning to school after such a long and unexpected break. The transition back to school may be easier for some kids than others. Do what you can to help your kids adjust, and they’ll be back in the swing of things soon enough—kids are amazingly adaptable!

Related Articles

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19

Supporting Families Through Virtual Child Life Services

 

Supporting Youth During a Pandemic: Virtual Sessions for LGBTQ+ Parents

We are currently facing unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has created trauma, loss, and a rise in anxiety for many. Our Family Coalition,  is a Bay Area nonprofit supporting LGBTQ+ families. They recognize the need to support their community members who are navigating this new norm.

I will be facilitating a free three-part series to help parents cope by providing practical tools and resources.

Learn how to: 
  • Ease children’s fear and anxiety related to COVID-19
  • Foster healthy relationships at home
  • Utilize therapeutic play activities and coping strategies
  • Instill self-care techniques
First Session: 

Supporting Tweens and Teens During COVID-19

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 8-9:30pm

Click Here to register

Second Session:

Supporting Young Children Coping with COVID-19

Monday, July 13, 2020 from 12-1:30pm

Click Here to register

Third Session:

Parent Respite During COVID-19

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 from 8-9:30pm

Click Here to Register 

If your organization is interested in having a workshop led, please email Shani at Childlifemommy@gmail.com.

Related Articles:

Supporting Families Through Virtual Child Life Services

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19

 

Helping kids get comfortable wearing a mask during COVID-19

Many communities are strongly recommending children and adults to wear masks while out in public. Here are some quick tips to help your kids cope with this new change.

  • Explain what COVID-19 is in simple language that they can understand.
  • Provide opportunities to play and get comfortable with the mask.
  • Give lots of choices.
    • Materials to use
    • Color and design options
    • Decorating
  • Validate their emotions and normalize them.
    • “It is frustrating that we have to wear masks.”
    • “I’m sad too that we have to do this.”

Here is a fun Mask Coloring Page that can also be used to help kids cope with this new experience. If your child has to go to the doctor, they will see medical providers wearing similar protective masks. This is an Activity Sheet that can prepare kids while providing opportunities to feel validated.

Animal coloring sheet created by Sarah Nunnally
Activity sheet created by Emma Fratangelo, MS, CCLS & Stephen Browne

Related Posts

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19 

Supporting Families Through Virtual Child Life Services

Family Activity To Help During COVID-19