10 Tips for Families Going Back to In-Person Learning

With the new COVID-19 vaccine rollout and declining number of new cases, there’s a hope of normality ahead. Recently, many schools throughout the country have either re-opened or announced plans for reopening soon.

With many being closed for nearly a year, many parents might experience culture shock as their kids return to a physical classroom. So many things have changed, and while we wish things were back to the way they were, we’re far from that reality.

Fortunately, with enough practice and patience, this “new normal” is one we can all live with. It just takes a bit of preparation and a lot of adjusting. Below are 10 tips for families going back to in-person learning.

Practice mask-wearing

Sure, your kid might be used to wearing a mask at the grocery store, but are they able to wear one for 8 hours straight? Practicing safe mask etiquette is essential to ensuring a return back to school is safe and in the best interest of everyone. Take the time to practice at home.

Practice good hygiene

Hand washing, hand sanitizing, and avoiding touching your face are just some of the things recommended by the CDC. Communicate the importance of these things with your kids to ensure they remain healthy and safe during in-person learning.

Pack enough school supplies

Sharing is no longer caring during the COVID-19 era. Packing enough school supplies ensures your child won’t have to borrow a pencil from their teacher. Help them avoid unnecessary touchpoints whenever possible.

Pack backup masks for the backup masks

Masks rip, get lost, or get uncomfortable after hours of wear. With PPE supplies in high-demand, ensuring your child has enough masks helps avoid a trip to the school office. Most schools have a strong mask policy, which means if your child isn’t wearing one, they might have to go home.

Donate supplies when possible

Schools are struggling to secure PPE as much as all of us, so pitching in whenever possible can make a big difference. Classrooms can benefit from disinfecting wipes, paper towels, disposable masks, and other essential items.

Keep kids’ home when they’re sick

This one should be a given, but a lot of parents continue to send their kids to school while sick. During these uncertain times, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you or your child are feeling ill, call in and play it safe.

Be flexible

If there’s one thing I learned this last year, it’s to be flexible and adaptable. Nothing is certain, so being able to change at a minute’s notice can help you deal with any updates. Be attentive to your phone, as a notification or change can come at any moment.

Actively listen

If things are hard on you as a parent, imagine how difficult they are for your children. They’re dealing with disappointment, anxiety, and learning loss. As they make the transition back to in-person learning, listen to them. You’ll be surprised how much they know and feel.

Get involved

The COVID-19 learning loss is real, and as parents, we need to be there for our children as much as possible. Teachers are trying their best, so having an involved parent at home helps flatten the curve. Pay close attention to their grades, feedback, and special needs.

Manage expectations

If nothing else, managing expectations can help set you up for success as you begin your transition to back to school learning. Set realistic expectations and be OK if they’re demolished. This is a time of learning for everyone involved, so be present, adapt, and make the best of it.