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This year has been full of many changes for people of all ages. School as our kids have known it has taken a dramatic change and the changes are going to keep coming. So how do we prepare them for what is to come when we don’t even know what to expect as their parents? A simple place to start is to allow them to talk to us and express their concerns about the changes that are taking place in their environment. Providing them with a non-judgmental space where they can feel free to express their worries, doubts and fears about what this upcoming semester may bring. Once you understand what their difficulties are, you can work as a team to problem solve, or in some cases accept what you can’t change/control.
Preparing their “workspace” is a great way for you to bond while setting the expectations for their “new” school environment where they will be doing schoolwork and taking their virtual classes. It is important for them to take pride in “their space”, keep it organized and functional so they are prepared for success each day. They should avoid doing their schoolwork in an area where there are too many distractions or anywhere that is too comfortable, like their bed. They should also prepare themselves to have to put their cell phones away during their school day because they wouldn’t be able to use them in class while at school. Make it fun and manageable, for example, cell phone use during class breaks or lunch could be allowed.
They can prepare their school supplies for the year like they would pack their backpacks for the first day of school or organize their lockers with their supplies. You can even walk through what a typical day might look like (schoolwork time, homework time, snack time, quiet time, etc.) and even talk about what snacks and meals they would like to have available during the week. They are used to being independent at school and really don’t need to lose that autonomy. Giving them options about small things like what to have for breakfast/lunch/snacks can help avoid frustration and conflict down the road. This also helps them to feel they have control over something in their lives.
For additional tips and resources, check out the links below!