Talk to your child: Be upfront with them about the current situation. Discuss expectations for hand washing, masks, and social distancing. If they understand the WHY, they’ll be more likely to make smart choices and less likely to be anxious.
Create a specific learning center: many of my mom friends have been setting up specific learning areas for their kids. It helps set expectations that when you’re in the learning area, it’s time to learn. Even if you can’t spare much space, something as simple as a cart with organized learning supplies will help with establishing a learning environment: a place for student calendars, supplies and assignments to help keep them organized.
Build excitement: I know this may not be easy, lol, but do a school countdown or school movie-themed marathon. Keep those traditional first day of school events: make a special breakfast or take those “First Day of School” pictures.
Make masks fun and familiar: When the kids return to school, masks will be a part of their daily routine. If using cloth masks, get fun patterns that reflect your child’s personality. Have a different mask for each day of the week. PRO TIP: have your child keep an extra mask in a ziplock in their backpack (and small bottle of hand sanitizer too).
Develop a sleep routine NOW: I know it’s not easy. All our routines have gone out the window for months. I set a timer on my phone Sunday – Thursday night to give a reminder that it’s time to shut down electronics and start our nighttime routine.
Meal prep healthy lunches and snacks: We are not always the most organized at our house, but meal prep does make the week more seamless. There are tons of online resources for quick, easy, healthy snacks and lunch ideas for kids of all ages (and adults!) such as MealBoard, LaLa Lunchbox, or Cozi. Make things easier on yourself by prepping for the coming week on Sundays and having everything conveniently stored and ready-to-go in the fridge to help streamline school days.
Tech tools: Getting the online resources set up for your child is not always easy shakes. Your school should be releasing info on your specific platforms (many are using Canvas). Once they’re set up life is easier. Many parents want homework support resources too. Brainly is a social online learning and homework help community that brings all the benefits of in-person study groups into a digital format and it’s FREE.
Play dates: Hello Zoom! Setting up play dates with your child’s classmates or friends can be worth the time and prep. Charades is a great game choice or a house scavenger hunt! Tons on online resources for setting up games for these… just google what you want.
Phone a friend: single parents and double parents who work outside the home have an even bigger challenge than most. If this is you, reach out to friends and see if they can help. I know friends in need, but they won’t ask…. so I offered. My friend is a single mom with no family in the area. Even though I’m at work in the day, I offered to pitch in during the evening to give her a break or help her daughter with homework so she can feel supported. Even just the offer of help is appreciated by those facing the biggest challenges.