As we start this week, preps to grade 2's are venturing back into the classrooms along with the year 11’s and 12’s. Grade 3 to year 10’s in Victoria will be back with their peers in the classroom from June 9th. So what do parents and carers need to consider during this transition phase, particularly for those children who already struggle with transitions or school prior to coronavirus. Our best tips are right here for you.
1. Get prepared for the routine
Lots of children have struggled at home without their normal routines and now is the time to jump back into those almost forgotten schedules. Some children will find this very rewarding however others may again be struck with increased fatigue like they were when first starting back after the summer holidays. Routines can be fatiguing when kids don’t get to have the regular breaks they have had access to in their own comfortable setting at home. How do you prepare for this when children get home from school each day and are ready to melt down or shut down? Have a quite space set up and allow for some extra down time in these first few weeks or build in some specific calming activities into the afternoon and evening such as Cosmic Kids yoga or Smiling Minds.
2. Understand what might be different
Talk to your child about what might look or feel different. There will be increased handwashing, more space between desks, there might be hand sanitiser in the classroom. Recess and lunch will have less children outside as schools work towards staggered break times. Class groups might not mix like they have previously and parents likely won’t be allowed into the school grounds. Reach out to your school to find out the specifics if your child is particularly anxious or worried about the return to classrooms.
Play time might be a big change or children may have difficulty understanding why other children are socially distancing.
3. Ensure children are educated about coronavirus
You may not even realise that there are small gaps in your child’s understanding of coronavirus or they may know lots. Different families have explained what is happening in different ways but as our children come back together they are going to be discussing and processing all of it. Ensuring your child has the right language and understanding will help them transition during this period and engage in the conversations in the classrooms. Some of our favourite resources to help with this are:
A free online book about Coronavirus illustrated by Alex Scheffler, the illustrator of the Gruffalo
Social story by Carol Grey about Coronavirus
Raising children’s network – how to talk to children about covid-19
Play school episode talking to young children about the coronavirus
Sleep routines may have taken a hit while at home but now is the time to get back on track. Sleep is so important to help not only with attention and learning but so many things. This includes helping kids to feel increasingly ready for the decisions they will need to make in the day ahead and be more prepared and resilient during the day. Check out the raising children network 10 tips for better sleep for children or their information on sleep and teenagers.
5. Utilise the skills they have developed
Over this time of learning from home kids have developed a range of skills including increased independence, utilising their laptops, having a designated area for school work at home. Harness these skills and set up a structured homework plan to support ongoing learning. This might have been a battle before but we now have the chance of a reset. Spend specific time learning together at home in a whole new way that you have navigated together over these past few months. Even though now we can had back the main staring role to the incredible teaching staff in our children's day to day learning lets keep supporting our children to connect to their future possibilities.
We wish all the kids and parents luck on their journey back to school and we can not wait until we can join you again in the classrooms but we will be sure to see you online or in the clinic in the coming weeks.