After 5 long months, schools in 59 out of 105 countries have finally reopened or have planned to do soon. Though this may be exciting for children, most parents are now even more anxious about how to make sure their children get the proper learning while staying safe in an out-of-home setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To give parents more time to adjust, most schools, like in the UAE, give an option of continuing e-learning for those who are still not confident to send their kids to school.
On the other hand, some parents, despite the concern, are very hopeful that school administrations will be well prepared, and that children’s health and safety protocols are going to be properly implemented.
If your child is already back in school or if you are still deciding, here are some useful tips that you and your child may practice to help them adjust to the safety precaution and ensure that they apply them even when they’re out of your watch.
#1 | Apply school protocols at home
You have probably discussed social distancing and wearing a mask to your kid, but the school setting is different. Even though teachers and school staff will ensure that the kids are following the safety protocols, it is better if they are introduced to it ahead of time.
Schools will more likely to implement the following:
- Staggering the start of school, mealtimes, and close of the school day
- Holding classes in shifts to reduce class size
You may practice at home these scenarios in a fun way using simple games where they get a small prize when they achieve forming their toys in a 2-meter distance from each other. You may also challenge your kid to do proper handwashing against his/her sister while singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.
Another thing is to reward them with motivating words or cuddles when you see them cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing or when they recite the classroom DOs and DON’Ts that you let them memorize (e.g. telling the teachers when a classmate does not follow the rules etc.).
There are a lot of helpful ways to inculcate your kid the daily safety habits that they need to expect and get used to. It is important to explain to them that these measures keep them and others safe especially when you are not around.
#2 | Be informed
Get regular updates from your kid’s teacher so you could gather useful details on catch-up lessons, most especially if your kid is still in e-learning, as well as other important detail about health and safety protocols in which you can help your child with.
#3 | Connect with others
As a parent, you may feel extra worried and in doubt but that is fine. Do not be shy to try communicating with other parents and share your concerns because you might also get a helpful insight or technique on how to deal with certain things. After all, everybody learns from one another.
#4 | Give extra support
Your kid may start feeling anxious or out of focus due to falling behind the class and the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Always have time to talk to your kid with their daily experience in school and most especially if something troubles them. But remember that kids may not tell you everything right away, continuously show them that you are ready to listen until they understand that what they are going through is normal and you are there to help them cope. You may not have too much time to monitor them due to your busy schedule, but a simple daily check before school, after school, or at bedtime will go a long way.
Whether you decide to let your kid return to school or not, it is your way as a parent and nothing is wrong with that. With the tireless commitment of their teacher and most especially you, your kid’s love for learning will overcome the circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.