How to Ace the School Year
The start of the school year is upon us. It’s time to consider some of the health and wellness issues that arise when kids return to the classroom. Regardless of the type of schooling you’ve chosen for your kids – face-to-face learning, virtual school or a combination of the two – our experts share advice and tips for success this school year.
7 Ways to Create Structure for Kids in Virtual School
With all the distractions of home – TV, video games, pets, toys and more – keeping kids engaged in virtual learning can be tough. This is especially true for visual and kinesthetic learners, who absorb information through seeing and doing things, and children who thrive on interacting with their teachers and classmates.
These tips can enhance concentration and make learning from home a success:
- Establish a routine. Treat virtual school the same as if your child were attending school face-to-face.
- Set an alarm. Pick a consistent time for kids to wake up and go to bed each day.
- Get ready. Get kids dressed and ready for school each morning, even if they aren’t leaving the house. Do not let kids attend virtual classes in pajamas, which can make them feel too relaxed to stay focused.
- Create a workspace. If space allows, designate a room for studying that isn’t the living room or your child’s bedroom. These spaces are places where the family rests and unwinds, making it difficult for children to concentrate on schoolwork.
- Develop a schedule. Set specific times for schoolwork, breaks, lunch and play.
- Plan Playtime. Plan time to play outside and with other children. Focus on activities that promote social distancing, such as swimming, biking, running and kickball. Proper masking is recommended if kids cannot maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more.
- Limit Technology. Limit cell phone use during designated times for school and turn off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime.
5 Things to Do Immediately When Kids Get Home from School
Ensuring that children don’t bring COVID-19 into your home from school is just as important as protecting them while they’re in the classroom.
Here are ways to prevent bringing COVID-19 into your home:
- Remove shoes outside: Have children remove their shoes before coming inside. Let shoes sit outside, in the sun or on a porch for a few hours.
- Wash hands: Washing hands properly is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Have your children wash their hands with warm water for at least 20 seconds before touching anything in the home.
- Change clothes: Have children remove the clothes they wore to school. Wash clothes in warm water each day.
- Wipe down backpack: Wipe down your child’s backpack and contents with a disinfectant before bringing it inside.
- Wash cloth masks: It is recommended that reusable cloth masks be washed in warm water each day. Disposable masks can be tossed in the trash after each daily use.
As kids adjust to a new way of learning, it’s important to watch for signs of depression, anxiety and loneliness. Kids are social creatures. Limited interaction with friends and teachers can lead to mental and physical health issues, if left untreated.