Written by Mereat Askander
Over the past year, kids have enjoyed sleeping in, attending Zoom classroom sessions, and participating in online activities or programs.
Now, as we prepare to return our children to in-person school, it is important to help them adjust to the hybrid education format they will likely experience. Creating a daily routine, keeping an up-to-date agenda, and blocking out time are essential means of ensuring a smooth transition and academic success.
First, focus on creating a new daily routine. It is in a child’s best interest to wake up at the same time each day and earlier than they likely do now, as this will create consistency and allow them to adjust to finer changes more easily. Waking them up at the same time each day will also make it easier to get them out of bed and ready to tackle the day. In addition, I highly recommend making a checklist the night before a school day with everything your child will need for their time on campus. Notebook? Check! Pencils and pens? Check! Small snack? Check! This may seem silly, but it can alleviate a lot of morning stress.
It might be difficult for your child to keep track of a variety of dates, times, and locations for assignments, activities, and other deadlines after staying at home for a year. Keeping an agenda will ensure your child is organized and help them consolidate online and in-person assignments. One technique your child can use when logging items into their agenda is to use different colored ink for different types of assignments, or using stickers or symbols to indicate important tasks (such as exams). In addition, checking your child’s agenda and making sure it’s complete and accurate will help you and your child work as a team and stay on top of tasks.
Lastly, time blocking is of vital importance. Time blocking is when you designate a specific time period for a very specific task. It will be challenging to get kids to stay focused at home after they return from their time on campus. They haven’t seen many of their friends or teachers for about a year, so returning to school might send your child into a frenzy of unfocused playtime and excitement. Making sure to set the pace and make your expectations clear for your child on those days will help them stay focused and complete any homework they were assigned for that day.
One method you can use here is priming. Before your child leaves for on campus time, let them know what to expect after school, i.e.: “When you get back, you’ll get a one-hour break, then we’ll work on your assignment that is due tomorrow for the next hour after that.”
COVID-19 has certainly presented many challenges for parents and students alike, but with the right tools and techniques, we can keep our children on track to becoming successful students now and in the future. As always, EP is here to help with developing those skills and aiding your child in reaching their full potential.