How to Help your Child Prepare for the Return to School
10 Tips from Bay Farm Montessori Academy's School Counselor, Brooke Camillo.
1. Speak openly with your child (in age-appropriate ways) about your child’s concerns regarding returning to school.
2. Provide your child with accurate information regarding the pandemic (as opposed to remaining silent and having your child overhear, and believe, potentially inaccurate information from their peers).
3. Address your own anxieties about sending your children back to school and the pandemic in general. This will make it easier for parents to model peace and reassurance when speaking with their children.
4. Help children focus on what they can control, such as wearing masks and hand washing.
5. Begin practicing back to school sleep schedules now to make the transition to in-person school schedules easier.
6. Have your children continue to engage in some virtual activities, as this will help them feel better about returning to virtual learning if it suddenly occurs again. Parents should also not be afraid to discuss how school may temporarily shut down again. They can highlight how this is ok because learning can happen anywhere.
7. Encourage your children to think of new, fun ways to feel socially connected to their peers in school while still remaining physically distant (such as physically distant playground games or hand signals to use in place of hugging or giving high fives).
8. Know the Facts: According to a communication from the CDC entitled, “The Importance of Re-Opening America’s Schools This Fall", the best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children. Children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults.
9. For younger children, help them understand that germs are invisible, and that hand washing gets rid of the invisible germs. Parents can also make hand washing fun by teaching their children a song to sing while washing their hands.
10. Trust the Experts: It would be best for parents to get their COVID-19 updates strictly from the CDC website or mass.gov, as many news sources share inaccurate data.
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