This year back-to- school certainly looks different from other years. Many parents had a difficult decision to make between online and in-person schooling for their children as both have their pros and cons. In such uncertain times we want to prepare our children to the best of our abilities as well as provide a sense of normalcy in their lives. Especially considering the lack of schooling received in the 2019/2020 school year. We at Success Tutorial School understand the difficulty in deciding what is best for our children at this time and wrote this article to provide insight and guidance for this academic year!
1 Educate Your Child on Safety
During these times, it is important to explain to our children on what is going on with the world. Educate them on the importance of maintaining social distance and wearing masks or shields if they are going to school. If they are doing online school, they will understand why they may be staying home for online learning. When children understand the expectations of them and their purpose, they are more inclined to abide to these guidelines and be understanding.
2 Find a Good Mask
School boards vary in the expectations of what age groups require masks and face shields. Some require grades 4 and up to use a mask whereas other boards require Kindergarten and up to use a mask or face shield. Your child will be sitting in these masks all day apart from eating and outdoor time, so it is important to find a mask that is suitable for your child. First, find a mask that is comfortable for your child and easy to breathe and speak in. Second, it is often found that masks cause irritation or pain around the ear area, either find a mask that does not hurt your child’s ears or find a mask that wraps around the head. Third, find a mask that your child likes, perhaps with a fun print, in order to get your child excited to wear it.
3 Supplementing Your Child’s Learning
Considering the amount of school missed due to the pandemic, many children have missed around 5 months of their education – that is half of the school year! As students have moved up in grades, teachers are noticing there are large gaps in their learning. At Success Tutorial School we understand that your child may need additional support to have a successful school year. Give your child a leg up by providing them with a tutoring program that supports and supplements their learning considering the amount of time missed in class.
4 Get Your Child Back into a Routine
Children do best with routines and expectations. When they know what is expected of them, it is easier for them to meet these goals, especially with repetition. With school being out for so long, it is likely that our children have missed out on structure and routine. It is important to create routine and structure for them at school and at home. Don’t forget to include homework and learning time in their after-school routine. With all the time missed in school, it is important for the child to get back on track. Sit with them to complete their work or enroll them one of our learning and tutoring programs to support them and supplement their learning.
5 Provide Your Child with Hand Sanitizer
Although schools may provide hand sanitizer for the students, giving your child an extra one is a good idea. A good place to include the hand sanitizer is in their lunch box, that way when it is time to eat, they are reminded to sanitize their hands beforehand.
6 Provide Wet Wipes
Provide your child with wet wipes so they can wipe down their hands, their desk, water bottle, pens, pencils or other belongings that may get dirty or covered in germs. Also, wipes are great for them to wipe down their hands after eating instead of licking their fingers as we know many kids do. Providing them with another method to keep their space and items clean can help them feel safer during these times and keep them focused on their learning instead of worrying about germs.
7 Provide Extra Masks
It is already a challenge for many kids to wear masks but sitting in the same mask all day can become uncomfortable, especially if it gets wet. Give your child an extra mask in case theirs gets wet, they sneeze into the mask or if it breaks. It is best to prepare your child in the best way possible.
8 Provide Your Child with their Own School Supplies
Children have always been taught and encouraged to share, however with the current circumstances, it is important that students do not share their items or use the school supplies of others. Provide your child with their own items in order to avoid sharing and spreading germs in the class. If you are unsure of what materials need to be sent to school, it is best to ask the teacher. Teachers have a limited amount of materials in their classroom and items such as scissors or markers that used to be communal, are no longer being shared amongst students – unless they are sanitized before and after use, as well as cleaned between the use of each student. This can cause issues for teachers as it is difficult to keep track of who has touched what and what needs to be sanitized between use. Providing your child with their own materials will avoid this issue and help to keep your child safe and healthy.
9 Practice Keeping a Distance
Children have trouble maintaining distance because it is their nature to be close to others such as their friends and teachers. However, in these times we need to teach and practice with our children how to keep six feet. The more we practice with them, the more it will come naturally to them and they will be successful in the classroom environment.
10 Practice Keeping Hands Clean
Children are always touching things and touching their face, spreading germs quickly. Educating your children on the importance of keeping hands clean can help them in not getting sick. If they are used to washing hands properly and sanitizing after touching things or moving from space to space (such as class to class), this can help prevent them in getting sick.
11 Practice Wearing a Mask
Children will need practice on how to properly wear a mask. Teach them the appropriate ways to wear it by covering your mouth, nose and chin. Practicing this with them will get them used to wearing the mask. Also, show your children how to properly remove the mask – take the mask off by the ear loops, fold the mask so that the inside is touching and do not touch the inside with your hands.
12 Be a Model for Your Child
Children look up to parents and adults, being a model for them is extremely important. Model your expectations for your child, wear your mask appropriately, avoid touching your face, wash your hands frequently and sanitize after leaving public places or touching something in public.
13 Change Clothes at Home
Once your child gets home, encourage them to get into the habit of changing their clothing and placing the ones from the day into the wash. This way we promote health and safety in our homes. We want to avoid bringing in any germs that your child may have picked up from school. Changing and washing their clothes promotes a safe and clean environment for your child.
14 Monitor Your Child and Their Symptoms
Schools are asking parents to screen their child for any symptoms before taking them to school. In order to keep each other safe we need to be aware of what symptoms to look out for and keep our child at home if they are experiencing any of the symptoms. This being said, it is important to use parent judgement of what is normal for your child and what is out of the ordinary for your child and their symptoms. If your child suffers from allergies and sneezes often, then this may not be a sign of COVID-19. However, if the sneezing is accompanied by a sore throat or fever, keep your child home! We need to keep everyone safe in order to promote success for all of our children in school.
15 Keep Yourself Informed
As these times are so unfamiliar to many of us, policies, rules and guidelines are constantly changing. Keep yourself informed on the expectations of the schools, classrooms, teachers and health ministry so you can be prepared and provide in the best way possible for your child. If you have questions, contact teachers or the school in order to be sure you are providing what is needed for your child and they can continue to be successful in school.
During these times so much is unknown, keeping yourself informed is very important for your child’s success. We know that our children have missed a lot of school and may be behind this academic year. Already, teachers have noticed gaps in knowledge and learning. However, teachers are required to teach and meet the curriculum expectations for students at grade level. Whether your child is doing online or in-person learning, supplementing their learning is a key aspect to their success this year. Give your students a leg up by enrolling them into a tutor program such as the Math or English programs found at Success Tutorial School, where we aim to bridge any gaps in your child’s learning! With 28 years of experience we will provide your child the tools they need to succeed this year. Please find our contact information below: