Going to school in 2021 is different than it has ever been before. Because of recent events, public health is a more pressing issue, and many kids are not returning to physical schools at all as many districts elect to move online for the foreseeable future. Whatever your feelings on virtual school are, you have to admit that it will be a stark change to what most students are used to. Here are four ways that you and your kids can prepare for the new school year in a world that is dealing with a pandemic.
One of the greatest benefits of attending school online is that you can be anywhere. This applies whether your child is taking synchronous classes over video or he or she is taking an asynchronous class where the class never meets. This gives you the opportunity to set up an area of your home dedicated to being a study area where your students can do homework and have a setting that looks nice for video calls.
Alternatively, this freedom of location allows your kids to complete schoolwork from anywhere without having to be absent from mandatory meetings. While traveling is not recommended right now, it is still possible if you take measures to be as safe as possible, and more options will open up as things continue to get safer. Even if you are taking Europe cruises, your children will have the resources to keep up with their schoolwork thanks to modern technology.
Assuming you received a list of school supplies at all, the list likely looks slightly different than what you are used to. Since paper assignments have been all but eliminated, pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters are far less useful than they would normally be. Computers can do everything that those supplies can do more quickly and more cheaply. You will likely still want to have a few pens and pencils on hand to take notes and make annotations, but a bulk of the work will be done on the computer.
Speaking of computers, most school districts now provide basic laptops for every student, and that is how your kids will likely be attending class and completing all of their homework. If you can afford an extra charger for your child’s computer or tablet, then purchase one. You never know when an unfortunate technical issue will arise and another charger will be needed.
Although the flexibility that this new school environment offers makes going to school easier than ever, you need to encourage your children to maintain a constant routine. Routines help people stay healthy and productive and discourage unhealthy choices that might adversely affect their performance.
For example, even though your teenager might not have a class video meeting until the afternoon, you need to make a rule that he or she cannot stay up into the early hours of the morning. Keeping a constant sleep schedule is important to leading a helpful life and staying awake and alert. Also, make sure that your kids are getting enough exercise and social time. Keeping your mental health in check is just as important as keeping your physical health in check, so even if your children resist, lay down the law for their wellbeing.
The younger your children are, the more likely they are to have questions about everything that is going on in the world. They might not understand why they have to follow all of these rules because, to a small child, viruses they have not had direct contact with do not seem real. Encourage your children to ask questions, and if you do not know the answer to a question they ask, research it and get back to them later. Curiosity is the best way for future generations to become smart, well-informed members of society.
Your teenage children are likely forming opinions of their own surrounding this situation, and this is a good thing. Even if they disagree with you, you should embrace this. Disagreement means that you have the grounds for a healthy, intelligent conversation that can enrich both of you. If you calmly explain your opinion to someone and you have to end up trying to force them to agree with you, it may be time to contemplate whether your opinion is correct.
Today’s world is unrecognizable from what it was even one year ago. It is impossible to know what developments are going to occur next, so everyone needs to prepare to take things as they come. Children are just as affected as adults are, and parents cannot ignore the problems their kids are having no matter what other hardships they may be experiencing. It is your duty as a parent to give your kids the resources they need to be happy, healthy, and successful.