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Back to school time can be stressful for kids no matter what is going on in the world. Seems as if everyone is unsure of how to proceed in the fall, parents aren’t the only ones a little scared of what’s to come. I work at a K-12 school and I am nervous about what is to come! The world looks very different right now! The first day of school jitters might look a bit different this year, and here is how to help calm back to school fears that both you and your kids might be having. Currently, my children are in two different school systems; DJ is in our neighborhood district and Emma is in private school. Along with school looking different, their school year, in general, will probably look very different.
Emma attends a school for children that have learning differences, and there are smaller class sizes. DJ will attend public school and the average class size is 22-25 children, but he will only be attending half-day in the fall. Although both schools are different, they’re in the same neighborhood so a lot of the decisions that are made will be based on the public district.
As a parent, I think it’s imperative that I’m organized this year! For the most part, I’m always organized with my planner and things written out and also with my cellphone calendar. However, going into this year with so much changing and school being certain days for each child, I must make sure I am prepared!
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A Parent’s Guide To Calm Back to School Fears:
Planning & Preparing for any scenario
Most schools still don’t know what the fall will look like. Regardless of what plans are in place now, they could certainly change in the next month. This means that the best thing for you to do is prepare for any possible scenario. Decide what you will do if you have to deal with another year of distance learning or sending your kids back. Having everything you need and being prepared for the worst can help make you feel better about back to school. Each year when the school supplies go on sale, I make sure to purchase an abundance of things we always have everything on hand at home. This year I will probably purchase more with the thought that at any moment if we go back to “shut-down” we are fully stocked and prepared for school at home!
For many families, planning and prepping looks like buying all the things for the children to go back to school. However, I prepare myself as well. This year we will be working with a color-coded system. Everyone will have a certain color of Precise Marklighter2 and G2 pen, and I will keep a “key” in the front, just in case, my husband has to look in my planner for something he will understand the colors.
Talk about it as a family
You aren’t the only one with fears and anxieties about going back to school. Talk with your kids and let your kids talk to you about back to school and the fears they might be feeling. Have an open conversation about it as a family so you can get everything out in the open. If your kids are struggling, try having them contact a school counselor or teacher to help.
While home together we came up with a lot of new routines and traditions. One of my favorite routines is our lunch and dinner routine of sitting at the table together and talking. My children are still pretty young (8 & 5), however, that doesn’t stop them from having feelings our sudden routine changes, because after all, they do understand that their life has been changed and they have feelings about it. While we are sitting at the table my husband and I sit and focus on what they’re saying and what they may need at the time. We have discussed school, the possibility of it being virtual, or going back part-time. I know this is not a one-time discussion, but its good to start having these conversations early!
Don’t dwell on it or put it off
Waiting to deal with your back to school fears is the worst thing you could do right now. Instead of putting off your worries or wallowing in them, deal with them, head-on, and deal with them. By avoiding your feelings or spending too much time worrying, you’ll miss out on a summer break with your kids that can be spent making memories. You can only control so much about the upcoming year, so try your best not to let it ruin your summer.
Go into the fall with an open mind
Teachers have had a chance to do distance learning once, which means they will be more prepared if that is the case in the fall. This means that while you may have had a bad classroom experience in the spring, you may not have one in the fall. There will be new material and new teachers for your kids, so take that into account! Also making sure that if you’re discussing anything related to school, if it isn’t positive then it shouldn’t be discussed in front of the children because they’re listening…even when you don’t think they are!
Write down your own list of pros and cons of the options for going back to school. What it will look like for your family if you go virtually or if you attend school physically (face-to-face).
Do the best you can!!
What can you do right now to make this situation better? Can you get your kids used to wearing masks, so they are prepared for wearing them at school? Can you start looking into homeschooling resources to help make their distance learning experience better? Start prepping for everyone, gathering the materials that you as a parent may need as well as items the children may need going into next year. It’s better to have a stockpile of educational and office items rather than need it and not have it!
Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do and do the best you can!
Remember that with everything going on in the world right now, the best thing you can do for both you and your kids is to take things one day at a time. Things could change in an instant, and there is still some time until school starts again.
If you’re interested in purchasing the assorted 6 pack of Precise Marklighter2 premium dual tip creative marker or 18 pack of assorted G2 gel ink oens, please check the office supply aisle, or back to school section at Target.
If you’re like me then planning is all about the pens! For this school year, I plan to use the #1 selling Gel and Pen brand, G2 gel ink pens from Pilot! The G2 is proven to be the longest writing gel ink pen among top brands and offers smooth writing and a comfortable grip. It is the ideal pen for overachievers and supports the local community with a $100,000 G2 Overachievers grant and a $15,000 G2 Overachievers Student Grant (https://g2overachievers.com/).