It’s back-to-school season! The second back-to-school season during the pandemic involves making very important decisions for parents and their kids with the option of in-person learning. This week on our Live, we hosted Amee Sandhu from Lex Integra Law to discuss what parents might expect this back-to-school season and our top 6 tips to help them during this season.
What are some challenges parents might face this back-to-school season?
Lack of boundaries:
Working from home has helped many parents in navigating their career and family responsibilities together. However, remote work also has caused many people to be working more consistently as there isn’t a clear boundary of when and how to finish the workday from home.
Having school from home also significantly impacts the children. Some kids might find themselves arguing with their siblings or parents more as they spend more time together which can increase the tension at home.
Measuring the quality of education:
With the lack of boundaries between school and free time, some kids might also find it challenging to focus on the school material and fall behind despite being on their laptops during school hours. As the measures of successful education are harder to acknowledge from home, parents might have additional challenges of trying to ensure their kids are getting well educated while trying to focus on their own work.
Some children have developed new hobbies to cope with being home all day as they are homeschooled during the pandemic. Although this might create a sense of relief for both the parents and the children, there might also be additional responsibilities related to the hobbies. For example, Amees daughter started baking to fill her free time, this meant more grocery shopping and cleaning time for her household.
How will back to school be for families this year with optional in-person learning?
Some parents might choose to send their kids to school 100 percent in-person to allow their kids to socialize with their peers and strengthen their mental health. However, some parents may not be comfortable with the health risks of in-person learning and choose online classes instead. With these factors in mind, parents might have to make tough choices on how their kids will continue their education. Fortunately, there might be hybrid models where children spent a portion of their school time in person and the rest at home which might ease the decision of some parents.
6 ways parents can ease back to school for their family despite the learning environment:
Take additional safety measures:
Parents might also take additional measures to ensure their kids are safe whether their kids are doing in-person or remote learning. Limiting their kids’ social bubbles might help families to prevent exposing their kids to COVID while allowing their children to see other family members such as grandparents.
Lower your high expectations:
As a parent, you might be very worried and try to make the back-to-school season perfectly smooth for you and your kids, however, it’s important to understand the difficulties of this season and accept that you might not be able to do everything at once. As the rules of the pandemic change, you can benefit from lowering your expectations and take things one day at a time.
Empower your kids with decision making:
Children might find this period very mentally challenging as their learning experience is constantly changing. Empowering your kids to make some choices around their experience without compromising your important decisions can help them cope with the process of COVID learning better.
Talk to your kids’ teachers:
If you aren’t sure how to ensure your children’s education, talk to their teachers! Teachers might provide you with resources and tools on how to help your kids’ learning from home. If you are short on technology, some schools might provide you with the tools needed. If you aren’t sure of how to help your kids learn the material, teachers might teach you how they measure and ensure success for their students.
Balancing family responsibilities with work might require you to draw clearer boundaries of when to work. For example, Amee scheduled some of her work tasks before her kids woke up to arrange a focus time for her work responsibilities and be more present for her kids during the day.
Don’t overschedule yourself:
You might have a perfect vision of how your days should look like, however, this might damage your mental health. Adjusting your goals to be realistic and focusing a getting fewer things done during the pandemic can help you decrease the pressure you put on yourself and improve your mental health.
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