Not all young people and children will be looking forward to going back to formal education. This is because the changes that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought such as improved hygiene, social distancing, the possibility of not seeing some friends and smaller classes has made some children and young people feel strange about going back to formal education.
These changes can be especially upsetting for those children and young people with additional needs and as a parent or carer, you may need more support too. This article will make the transition back to formal education including college and school easier as it offers tips for going back to school or college.
Prepare Your Kids for School
It is important to ensure that your children are prepared for and understand what is different about going back to school during COVID-19. Talk about the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought such as class sizes, social distancing, lesson schedule, and whether they can see all their teachers or friends.
Focus on The Positives
Reassure your kids that this situation is temporary and any negative feelings they may have should pass. Discuss the future, ask them what they are looking forward to and focus on the positives when they are worried.
Talk About Being Careful
Recap what their educational institution is doing to protect learners against the virus. This relieves anxiety for you and your child
Re-establish a Routine
Since routines can be reassuring, it is good to re-establish a routine to make the transition back to formal education easier. Think of what worked before the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to activity, healthy eating, and sleep. It may also be a good idea to consider new routines that suit the current situation
Reconnect with Friends
Have they been in staying in touch with friends over the past few months? Do they think that their friendships have weakened? If they kept in touch with their friends, ask them if there is anything else they may want to do to reconnect with their friends as far as restrictions allow
Help Your Children Solve Problems
Discuss the things that were changed by the pandemic, how they are dealing with any local restrictions and how they coped during the national lockdown. Can any of these help over the next few months or in case schools are closed again? Are there any problem-solving strategies they have used before to solve a certain problem that they can use now?
Children with Additional Needs
If you are looking after a kid or young person with special educational needs, mental health issues, autism, disabilities or a combination of these, the big changes to our daily lives caused by the coronavirus pandemic may be stressful.
Change can either be good or bad and is likely to affect how your children are feeling. They may have found it hard to deal with local restrictions or found the national lockdown hard and have difficulty adjusting to going back to school or college.
If your children are struggling to adapt, ensure that you are honest when talking about the current situation and how they can protect themselves from COVID-19. Doing activities they enjoy can help your children feel better. As such, it is good to encourage your children to do the activities they enjoy.
You can ask the educational institution and also looking at “the disabled schools near me” (for a wider range of ideas and help) to send videos or photos of the changes that have been made and detailed information about what to expect. Use these to help you explain to your children what has happened and why it has happened. Preparing a new routine can also help prepare your child to go back to school or college as will social distancing measures they should follow such as queuing safely, handwashing or following 1-way paths.