At this time of the year, across the country parents and their children are contemplating an idea they've been putting off during the summer months: going back to school.

Every year, the end of the summer holidays represents different things to each family. For some parents, it's the opportunity to get things back to a normal routine and get their work schedule on track but also the stress of the organisation of school supplies.

For children, there's the disappointment that they'll no longer be able to spend week after week, day after day, doing fun activities with their friends, but there's also the high excitement of getting back to school and learning.

There are so many questions we ask ourselves before sending our children to school: Will they have friends? Will they be supported in the classroom? Will they feel confident to learn new things and face new challenges?

This time is stressful for everyone at the best of times, but now we have to add something else to the mix: COVID and the changes that it has brought to the way teachers and students can interact.

The best way to get back into the swing of things, while still keeping your children safe, is getting organized and having a plan from the very first day.

After spending so much time using technology to learn from a distance, it's normal that the ideas of both sending our children to a classroom full of kids and then expecting them to stay safe can dance around in our heads at night.

For parents who want to take care of their kids' health and see them have the best educational experience they can, we've put together a list of tips and hacks to be prepared for the new school year...

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Get Organised From The Very First Day

Get everything prepared the day before
Simple actions like making sure your kids have all the supplies they need can make them safer in the classroom. | Photo Courtesy of Pexels- Pixabay

When everything stopped and kids started to study from home, the one positive thing was that there was no chance of leaving books or their lunch at home, you were already there!

The first thing to do is make sure they have everything they need for both their education and to take care of their health. Do this so they can avoid borrowing from others.

Of course, you'll need the normal supplies like notebooks, pens and pencils, but as life has changed, we also need to add a few other objects into the mix. Pack things like hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and spare masks, as well as their lunch.

As you and your child start the new year, it's a good idea to set a clear routine that will help them to get back into their school life, while also making sure they have everything they need to stay safe throughout the day.

For example, you could make your child in charge of packing their school bag the night before, while you prepare their lunch and health care products. If you create a system like this, it can give your child a sense of agency, and make sure they are safe in their classroom.

Get Informed About Any New School Rules

As part of the plan to take care of students during this stressful time, many ideas and rules that worked in the past have been transformed to keep up with our times, in ways that you may not have considered.

For example, parents may no longer be allowed to enter the school grounds, except for in specific circumstances. The class schedule may have changed, to avoid many students assembling together at the start and end of the day.

Make sure you know exactly what your child's school and teacher require from them. Read any updated policies regarding hygiene, distancing and any other health care policies, and provide your kids with all the information they need to abide by these rules.

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5 (43 reviews)
Viral
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Smit
5
5 (70 reviews)
Smit
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sarita
5
5 (6 reviews)
Sarita
$65
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kate
5
5 (8 reviews)
Kate
$60
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Fatima ezzahra
5
5 (16 reviews)
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$25
/h
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1st lesson free!
Kinley
5
5 (17 reviews)
Kinley
$27
/h
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1st lesson free!
Binish
5
5 (8 reviews)
Binish
$40
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Talk To Them About What to Expect

It's easy for kids to forget or not think about the serious changes that have taken place in life in the past two years. They probably remember their schools as fun places where they can do activities with friends as they learn.

Have a conversation about hygiene
Speak to your children about ideas as simple as washing their hands in the correct way. | Photo Courtesy of Unsplash- CDC

Unfortunately, in order to keep each child safe, schools have had to make their classrooms more sanitary and teachers are going to make their classes collaborative, which may come as a shock to your kids.

Students in high school or college will know exactly what to expect, but it's up to the family to explain to younger children the different changes to the way they study.

To start, explain that the goals of all these changes are to keep them safe, as they might seem like some sort of punishment at first. Next, talk them through what is expected from them, so they aren't caught out by any new rules.

Be Prepared For Distance Learning

If we learned anything in the past two years, it's that we never know when the scales are going to tip and life is going to shut down again. Time and time again, we've opened, and then closed, then partially opened and so on.

Those moments are already very stressful, so make them a little easier by making the switch to distance education feel natural.

There are so many reasons why a child might be kept at home but is still expected to take part in their class. Perhaps one of their classmates was found to be positive for COVID, so the whole class has to learn from home.

Maybe one of your colleagues has tested positive, so the whole family now needs to quarantine. The point is that we can never really predict when we'll have to make this quick change from sending the kids to school, to keeping them at home.

The easiest way to be prepared for this is to have a clear plan in place, starting with the technology. Do you have a computer or tablet that your child can use to study that won't affect your work or personal needs? Does the wifi connection allow for a clear video and microphone feed?

You also need to consider the space available in your house. Does your child have somewhere quiet where they can clearly hear their teacher? This is an important consideration especially if one or more people in the family work from home.

Find A Tutor To Offer Support

One of the biggest issues within education in the past years is that not having classes consistently has caused some students to fall behind, most only a little, but some in quite a serious way. This can then affect confidence in the classroom, leading to further issues.

One of the greatest tips or hacks in this guide is this: if your kid is falling behind, try finding an academic coach or tutor that can help them to gain confidence and reach the same level as their peers.

A tutor can help your child build up their confidence
Online tutors can provide a safe and fun way for students to study what they may have missed. | Photo Courtesy of Pexels- Katerina Holmes

Tutors aren't valuable only because of the education and homework help they provide, but also because they can help each child set their own goals and taking classes consistently can create a routine, leading to better organization in general.

Another good aspect of this type of class is the fact that most of the time, tutors are flexible as to where they offer classes. Many of them are available for classes online, so you don't have to worry about health and safety.

If you're keen to find a tutor, Superprof is a great place to start. There are hundreds of academic coaches across the country that are ready to instruct in any subject, both in-person and online.

Take It Slow, Take It Easy

So, we've given you a lot of tips and hacks here, some of which might feel a little overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is that we're all new to this. Every principal, every teacher, every parent and every kid.

While it might be easy to get frustrated with new rules or ideas that seem unnecessary, the key is to have as much patience as you can with the people in your community.

After all, being kind to one another in these strange circumstances can surely make this new experience that much easier!

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Giulietta

Giulietta is an English-language teacher currently working in Italy who loves fashion, history and finding the best restaurants in whichever city she finds herself in!