Going Back: Let's Get Ready for School Again

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            Here we go again - September is here, and school is about to start. Let's remind ourselves of what we already know and consider what we need to especially remember this year in the wake of Covid-19 school changes.

What we always know:

·         Get back on a school schedule for sleep and meals before school starts.

·         Start having fun school-like activities be a part of each day: reading aloud, keeping a journal, cooking as a science experiment, going for a nature walk, putting on a play, and the like...

·         Pay close attention to all communications from school: preparation is always a good idea when it comes to our children.

·         Take advantage of all the supports available to families: we have learned a lot about leveling the playing field in schools, and you have a right to all of the benefits now available to our children. (You might check out The Early Childhood Family Toolkit (https://growingupnyc.cityofnewyork.us/early-childhood-family-toolkit/) and NYC DOE Additional Resources for Families (https://www.schools.nyc.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/additional-resources-for-families) for starters.)

·         Teachers are allies - form a positive relationship early on with these professionals and create that school-home alliance that allows children to thrive.

·         Take a deep breath and realize that our children grow into goodness with the right nurture, care, and love...

What's different this year:

·         Children who are extroverted are looking forward to returning to the classroom, but children who are naturally introverted have had a reprieve from the stressful social laboratory of school. Our more inward-looking young friends will need some extra loving care to get back in the routine.

·         There is much information - as well as much misinformation - about safety and the virus. Be an active and informed parent when questions come up about mask protocols and what is safe.

·         Children who learn differently - especially those with Individual Education Plans (IEP's) - will benefit from close observations about what accommodations are working in this new reality of our world. You can always ask for a review of an IEP or a 504 Plan if you see a need.

·         Anxiety has been a part of our daily lives for quite some time. Take care of yourself and your children with three simple practices: a) take a moment to breathe and sit quietly together - maybe as "grace" before a family meal; b) share what you are grateful for - you might even make a family gratitude list and post it on a whiteboard with daily revisions; c) have a moment before bed for a hug, an appreciation for one another, and a heartfelt "I love you."

Resilience is a quality all of us can aspire to: that capacity for bouncing back from adversity. There are many available resources for resilience and wellness support for parents: check out NYC DOE Parent University for starters: https://parentu.schools.nyc/home/resource.

Take a breath and recognize the good work you are already doing with your children. With kindness, laughter, presence, shared activities, and the daily reassurance of love we can make this a good school year.

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This page contains a single entry by John published on August 12, 2021 10:47 AM.

Hope Springs Eternal - Parenting 2.0 in a Pandemic was the previous entry in this blog.

Talking to Your Children About Climate Change is the next entry in this blog.

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