Helping Your Child Adjust To Normal School Life After Lockdown

All parents have struggled with homeschooling over the past year and most are glad that their kids are back in normal schooling again. We didn’t get much warning about having to take over from their teachers and it all came at the same time that we were trying to navigate working from home for the first time. In all of that mess, it’s likely that your child’s schooling suffered a bit. Anybody that says they were perfect at homeschooling and their kids kept up with everything is lying. Even though teachers provided a lot of amazing resources and support, it’s still difficult for your kids to learn effectively. So, now that they have returned, they might be struggling a bit. You also have to consider the potential difficulties with the transition. When they have been out of school for so long, returning to normal can be quite overwhelming and they may still be finding it hard to adjust. As a parent, it’s important that you help your child with this transition back into normal schooling so you can make sure that they are keeping up. Here’s how you can support your child as they return to school after the pandemic. 

Talk To Them About The Differences 
Having open conversations with children, especially young ones, about why things are different at school will help with the adjustment. So, talk to them about why class sizes are different and why they need to wear masks etc. When they have a better understanding of why they are doing these things and how it is helping the situation, they will feel less anxious about those differences. During these conversations, you can also make sure that they are doing what they need to do to be safe. Remember, it’s natural for you to worry about their safety when they return to school and knowing that they understand all of the precautions will help alleviate those fears. 

Ask Them If They Are Worried About Anything
Kids often won’t say anything even if they are concerned about how things are going at school. So, make sure that you sit down with them and ask them on a regular basis. They might have fears about safety at school even though there are regulations in place. They may also have worries about falling behind in certain subjects because they’ve missed a lot of school. Don’t forget about all of the normal worries that haven’t been an issue while they were out of school, like squabbles between friends. Asking them about any problems allows you to get a clearer picture of how they’re getting on so you can take action if you need to. For example, if they are struggling in certain subjects, you can start looking at ways to help. If they are concerned about safety, you can take them through some more precautions and reassure them. 

Spend Quality Time Together 
One thing that people don’t consider when their child returns to school is that they might miss you. During the lockdown when everybody was at home, you were all spending a lot of time together. When things start going back to normal and you are back at work and they’re at school, that disappears. This can be quite distressing for you and your child so, even though we want things to go back to the way they were, there are certain things we should hold onto. Quality time with your family is one of those things, so make an effort to do more things together. 

Consider Hiring A Tutor 
There are certain subjects that you probably struggled to help with when homeschooling because you don’t know anything about it yourself. All kids are going to have some gaps in their knowledge at the moment and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. But you should find ways to help them get up to speed, and hiring a tutor is a great way to do that. There are some great companies like Sherpa Tutors that offer online classes with expert tutors in a range of different subjects. Talk to your child about their schooling and see if there are any subjects they are struggling with. An hour or two with a tutor each week will soon help them catch up and it’s particularly useful around exams. 

Maintain Close Contact With Teachers 
Hopefully, your child will always let you know what’s going on in their life and if they are finding it hard to readjust to normal school, they will tell you. Unfortunately, kids often hide things and they will say everything is fine, even when you ask them directly. That’s why you need to watch out for any changes to their behaviour or other warning signs that might suggest they are struggling. Maintaining close contact with their teachers is important here because they will pick up on things too. By working together with the school, you can make sure that your child is as comfortable as possible as things get back to normal. Teachers will also give you a good insight into their performance so you can see where they might need extra help from tutors etc. 

Talk To Older Kids About Future Options 
Older kids are likely to be conflicted about returning to school. They will be happy to see their friends but probably annoyed about the boring stuff that they have to do, like learning. You need to help them find their motivation and remind them that this is important, which is tough when they have been out of normal schooling for a long while. Talking to them about options after they finish school is a good place to start. If you can help them see the bigger picture and realise they need to do well at school so they can achieve whatever goals they might have, it’s much easier to keep them motivated. 

The transition back to normal life is strange for all of us, but it’s particularly challenging for kids returning to school. But as long as you support them in the right way, they will be fine. 

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