Preparing for Back to School During Pandemic

This year, back to school will look incredibly different with the uncertainties of COVID creating many what-ifs and maybes for the start of 2020 school year. Will your children be going back in-person, with or without masks, virtual or even a hybrid of both?

There’s no question it’s stressful planning for so many unknowns. So, here are a few ways to help you and your family proactively prepare for “back to school” – whatever that may look like this year for your children.

Preparing for Back to School – Remote Learning

  • Create a designated work-space in your home to help your little learners focus. Check out these awesome ideas for inspiration
  • Make sure that all computers and programs are up to date and your Wi-Fi is working properly, providing the speed necessary to accommodate virtual learning
  • Keep all necessary log-in information/assignment lists/etc. somewhere easily accessible
  • Set and communicate a schedule with your children and stick to it. Try to keep school hours as normal as your own schedule allows
  • Reduce distractions, but also remember that just like you, kids need breaks! Figure out a healthy balance
  • Don’t teach – help! Remember that you don’t necessarily need to become the teacher, but the helper with learning, communicating and ensuring assignments are being completed
  • Reach out to your children’s teachers if you have questions about expectations, processes or school work to better assure your kids stay on track
  • Stay positive and flexible. This is a tough time for everyone and having a good attitude for your children is more important than ever

Preparing for Back to School – In Classroom Learning

  • Do daily COVID checks before sending your child to school. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above, keep them home
  • Contact the school to discuss safety protocols and who you should check in with if your child has symptoms
  • Talk to the teachers about what safety measures are being taken in the classroom and what the learning will look like during this time
  • Talk to your kids about safety protocols and send them to school prepared. Pack their bag with hand sanitizer, face coverings, their own designated water bottles, etc.
  • Practice daily routines for after school such as washing hands, sanitizing and washing face coverings when they return home
  • Plan transportation ahead of time. Will your child be taking the bus? Carpooling? Or will you be driving them? Take necessary safety measures for your specific situation
  • Plan for the unexpected. Whether that be school closings, reopening, or the possibility of one of your children becoming infected, make a plan as to how you and your family will respond

Preparing for Back to School – A Hybrid Model

  • Use the tips above for both remote and in classroom learning to assist you in planning for in-person versus remote learning days

Finally, be patient and flexible.

As schools continue to create safe and effective learning environments during the pandemic, things may change in their teaching delivery models. It’s key to be ready for both because things may change quickly based on local situations. Most importantly, focus on your own children to ensure their experience is as calm, safe and effective as can be. For more on planning for in-school learning, click here for a full checklist from the CDC

11 Tips for Back-To-School Success

shutterstock_26724165811 Tips for Back-To-School Success

It is that time of year again! Time to bust out the new backpacks, get your school supplies together, and begin a brand new school year. If you are looking for ways to start the year off right, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when heading back to school!

1.) Always get a good night’s sleep

In addition to going to bed at a decent time (7-8 hours of sleep is recommended), your environment plays a key role in the quality of your sleep. Choose a blanket that keeps you warm so that you are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night from being cold. You will also want to make sure you are sleeping in total darkness. Turn off screens when you lay down to go to bed. Looking at your phone or watching TV keeps your mind stimulated which can keep you awake longer.

2.) Plan an exciting breakfast

This way you will be more motivated to get up in the morning knowing you won’t have a boring breakfast!

3.) Put your alarm across the room

By putting your alarm across the room, the chances of you hitting snooze and going back to bed are significantly less. Once you are out of bed,  you likely won’t be going back to sleep.

4.) Set your schedule as your lock screen

Instead of digging through your phone or pulling out a printed sheet of paper, setting your schedule as your lock screen gives you easy access to where you are supposed to be and when. This can be especially helpful for the first week or so of school.

5.) Make a Post-It note calendar of weekly to do’s

When you complete each task, you can take the Post-It off of your calendar. This provides a sense of accomplishment since your list is getting smaller. This tip can be useful for work or school!

6.) Use colorful pens and highlighters when taking notes

Using colorful pens and highlighters can help you stay more organized when writing notes or reading. Anything highlighted or written in the same color pertain to one another, making it easy to distinguish subject matter when looking back at your materials.

7.) Set study/ homework goals and treat yourself when you reach them

Treating yourself when you reach a goal can be very effective when studying. Your treat could be anything from your favorite candy or snack to playing your favorite game, or even just some time to browse social media. Choose something that you enjoy to keep yourself motivated.

8.) When studying, create a schedule with study times and break times

Set your phone alarms to indicate when to study and when to take a break. Taking breaks while studying can ultimately help you study longer since you are not overloading your brain with information non-stop.

9.) Get regular exercise

Regular exercise is proven to give you more energy throughout the day and increase brain function. Even small amounts each day can make a difference.

10.) Re-Write Notes

When you get home, re-write your notes from that day to help increase the chances of you remembering the content. Go over those same notes a week later and highlight key points for even further memory retention.

11.) Use Google Scholar

Skip the regular old Google search and use Google Scholar to find more accurate and relevant information if you are doing research for a project or paper. On this search engine, you can also keep track of your citations as you go.

 

So, if you are looking to start the year off on the right foot, think about adding some of these tips to your routine!

 

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