Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the country back in March, children have been stuck at home with minimal school work, for some none at all. Almost eight months down the line, both parents and children are preparing to get back to the school season and it almost seems like an ambush.
Many children had gotten used to waking up late without set schedules while parents are yet to feel the brunt of adjusting to school schedules not to mention impending school fees. It is not going to be easy to help your children adjust to the school routine, but here are some ways you can help them prepare:
- Reducing their screen time
Hands down screens have played a big part in keeping children entertained all throughout the quarantine period but this has also made them inactive. They are used to lounging around and probably watching movies all day if not playing video games. As schools open, it will be prudent for you, as the parent or guardian, to reduce their screen time and find other productive and non-screen ways of keeping them occupied.
- Get them back on a schedule
If your children are already used to waking up late and sleeping equally late with meal time being every time, it is not going to be easy getting them on a tight schedule again. You can start by setting a sleeping time and a waking up time, it doesn’t have to be literally 6 A.M like on school days but at least it should be early enough to help them bounce back. Also line up daily activities and enforce strict meal times to help them easily adjust when they go back to school.
- Take them school shopping
Nothing fascinates children more than having new things and showing them off to their friends. When children are to go back to school and they have nothing to show for it, they are likely to be less enthusiastic.
Take them shopping, buy them new stationery probably a fancy pen and just make their day. Shopping for school will mentally prepare them for what is to come. Do not exclude them and go shopping alone, involve them so they feel part of the whole process as it is about them anyway.
- Talk to your children
Staying home for seven months is not easy and this could have drained them emotionally, if not physically. Ask them how they really feel about going back to school and how you can make the transition easy for them.
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Also, ask them how they feel about the pandemic, reassure them that everything is going to be alright so long as they wash their hands and wear their masks at all times.
- Rehearse the COVID-19 regulations
Since schools are going to be opening in the midst of a pandemic, it is important to ensure your children understand the need for them to wear a mask and to always wash their hands. Children are the hardest group to deal with since they rarely follow instructions.
Ensure they have a mask and always have a hand sanitizer ready and make it a routine around the house so they get accustomed to it. Also you can imprint their names on their masks to make it hard for them to not only confuse them but also be tempted to share with friends.
Tip: Be positive about schools opening, children often take cues from their parents and when you seem stressed and uneager about schools opening your children are likely to feel the same way.