At long last, many more schools are transitioning to in-person learning. Although this was the usual way kids were educated pre-Covid-19, it has been over a year since some of them have learned in this format. As a result, the transition to in-person learning may not be a smooth as we would hope. Use these four steps to manage the transition for your child:
- Expect some anxiety – This will be a process for children, and they may have a lot of unspoken anxiety about being back in the school building, being with of kids they have never seen in person and staying in school all day. To help mitigate anxiety, provide your child with as much detail as they can handle about their transition. This includes what their schedule will look like, how to plan for lunch, new school rules, and any changes they can expect. Talk frequently with your child about their feelings so you are aware how they are doing. And provide an open ear if they express anxiety to you. Having someone to listen to their distress can go a long way in easing their discomfort.
- Make sure they have the supplies they need – There may be supplies that were not needed during distance learning, that are now essential. Speak with your child’s teachers about important supplies and ensure your child has them in their backpack. Being prepared will help ease your child’s distress and help them adjust better to in-person learning.
- Set up a structured after school routine – What worked well for the evenings during in person learning? Did your child have a snack first? Was there a set space for homework? Try to go back to that schedule. This will help children adjust better into the routine of the in-person schedule.
- Think of this transition as a process – In-person learning is not a panacea to all academic woes. While your child may be more attentive in class, and have more dedicated time for schoolwork, they may also be more fatigued with the longer school day and increased social expectations. Allow your child to adjust to in-person learning before expecting increased academic performance and improved work completion.
In-person learning is a blessing to many children and families. But it will be a big transition for children who have been home for 12 months or longer. However, proper planning, good structure, active listening, and patience can go a long way to helping children finish out the school year strong.