A New School Year Unlike Any Other

Staying Safe This School Year

We have always loved the excitement of children going back to school.   Back to school jitters and the nervousness we all feel (it’s not just the kids) at the beginning of the new school year are a universal part of childhood (and parenthood for that matter). But, this year has been a game-changer. It’s been a seriously long winter and spring of homeschooling and we are exhausted. I bet you are too. Now, the end is in sight. Our little kiddos are about to go back; at least that’s the plan – for now.

At Santa Mails a Letter we are always looking for ways we can contribute to making children and families stronger. Part of that, at least for this year is thinking about how best to help make the transition to a COVID- 19 school year, to do it safely and so that it’s manageable for everyone.

As parents, over the last 6 months we all have had to make major decisions regarding our children’s education.  It’s been about juggling their safety but also finding out how best to continue their engagement with learning all while continuing to work our day jobs, and keep our sanity.

For parents whose children are going back to school here are some tips on how best to navigate a very changed school environment.

  • Build an action plan with your child about how best to welcome and adapt to new procedures and practices.  Have A Plan! When we have a plan it minimizes risks and it provides concrete steps to help protect our little ones and our families.
  • Talk with your children before and after they return to school, if you can, each day.  Just a few minutes. An open conversation will help you provide the necessary guidance they need.
  • During the first couple of weeks expect to meet with some struggles and resistance:  whether crying, mystery illnesses, trouble sleeping or mood swings, including refusing to go to school.
  • If you are faced with issues, go back to your family plan and see if you can make some alternations to their routine, although sometimes it is a best to stay the course as most children will settle down to the new social structure. I’m sure you’ve seen this yourself many times.
  • We are all stressed these days, so keep your cool. 
  • So, what if your child digs in their heels and is adamant about not going to school? Dialogue is important so help them articulate their concerns so that you can empathize with them. 

The best protection we can provide children is confidence.  COVID -19 is requiring all of us to make sacrifices. By keeping up with social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands and not sharing school supplies we can all stay safe.

Our families are stronger than we think and together we can get through this period. 

We look forward to seeing everyone celebrate a brighter Christmas this year.

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