As kids return to school for the 2021-2022 school year, many families feel more overwhelmed than usual at the start of a new school year. What is the reason? Primarily, the “dirty word” we all hate to speak aloud but hear spoken constantly these days… COVID. Over the past year and a half, the pandemic remains the main culprit of uprooting normalcy in all our lives. Arguably, school-aged kids experienced some of the most disruptions to their everyday life. Since March 2020, going to school has not looked (or felt) the same.
This year, most schools have tried to reestablish normalcy with in-person classes. A lot of students might be going back in person for the first time since March 2020! There are also a lot of transitional age groups that missed crucial school years last year. Regardless, everyone feels a little out of sorts.
As a former public school teacher, my piece of advice is ROUTINE! Construct a routine that is easy to follow on weekdays and get your kids on board. Kids tend to thrive with structure, and routine can help teach them how to set themselves up for success. Having a solid routine can also help when the unexpected happens. One thing we’ve all learned over the last year and a half is that anything can change instantly and we have to adapt as best we can. If you already have a routine in place, you can still help your kids succeed through obstacles such as virtual learning, hybrid structures, and whatever else might get thrown at us!
Here are some tips to help you establish a successful routine for your kids this school year that you can use no matter what school looks like for your family:
- Eat a healthy breakfast every morning, and a healthy lunch every afternoon.
- Keep your eyes on the teacher (even if they’re on a screen)!
- Do your homework as soon as you can and ask for help when you don’t understand.
- Tell your parents what your day was like and when you do well at school.
- When you encounter a bully, use your mind, use your words, use your legs, and ask for help when you need it… Make it a goal to show kindness to someone each day.
- Read every day.
- Find some physical activity that you enjoy and go out and do it!
- Go to bed at your bedtime and go to sleep right away. Try to avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. It will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Hopefully, these tips can help you establish a solid routine for your kids (and yourself!) and set them up for success this year. I hope everyone has a happy 2021-2022 school year, no matter what obstacles might occur!