Back to School: COVID Edition

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Typically when you see a back to school post, you’re expecting to see the best deals on crayons, printable lunchbox notes with funny jokes or memes with moms lounging in the pool sipping on a Truly while her kids look on with sadness.

This one, however, is different. The 2020-2021 school year is unlike one we will have ever experienced before. And, if you’re like me, you may be slightly panicking over the infinite what-if scenarios that are being discussed. One way (at least for me) to squelch anxieties over the unknown is to plan ahead. I’ve got some tips for you to be as prepared as you can be for the upcoming school year! 

1. Model That Mask

If your child will be attending school in person and masks are required, get your child used to it now. Some folks have been wearing masks this entire time, others not so much. But, if your kiddo is going to be expected to wear a mask ALL. DAY. LONG. start getting them used to it now. Etsy has some cute masks for children or you can help your child make their own. Also (and I speak from experience) buy more than one mask. This way you can have a spare while others are being washed or inevitably your kid loses one. 

2. Stock Up 

I’m not advocating hoarding here by any means, but it pays to be prepared. When you receive your child’s supply list, you might consider hitting those sales up and buying an extra of each item. You may want/need crayons, markers, and glue sticks at home should school be forced into another shutdown and Little Timmy’s supplies are under lock and key at school. 

3. Talk with Teachers

When the school year starts, be sure you have an open line of communication with your child’s teacher. If distance-learning takes precedence over in-class instruction, you will need a good relationship with your child’s teacher. Ask for a copy of the class’s daily routine to help you model it at home (just in case).

Does your child work with a para? Ask for a detailed list of strategies that help your child navigate through tough times at school or coping mechanisms that they have found helpful. I guarantee you that your child’s teacher will do whatever they can to help you. If we’ve learned anything through this pandemic, its that teachers have huge hearts. 

4. Set Up a Support Squad

Teachers are there to help but it would also be beneficial to link up with a few mommas from your kiddo’s class. Maybe start a Facebook Group with a few moms to communicate with throughout the school year. This is an awesome way to get advice or assistance with schoolwork, tips on how to help your child navigate through this peculiar school year, or even just someone to understand when you’re struggling. 

5. Make A Plan 

Hopefully, you won’t need a contingency plan in case schools are shutdown this fall, but it will come in handy to have one. Are you a stay-at-home mom? How do you see your day going if your kids will be home and distance learning? Do you work outside of the home? Do you have the ability to work from home in case your child must stay home?

Is there someone who can watch your child while also assisting in remote schooling? Think about any and all possibilities and make an action plan now. This spring was a good “trial run” for what could happen in the fall. Think about how the end of the school year went for you and your crew. What would you do differently now that you’ve been through it? 

6. Give Grace (And Give it Abundantly) 

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast by Rick Warren. He said, “People have said, ‘We’re all in the same boat’. That’s not accurate. We’re not all in the same boat. We’re all in the same storm. But some of us are cruising along on a yacht and are doing great! Others are rowing as hard as they can in little canoes. And then some of us are just holding onto a small piece of driftwood and trying to not get dragged down by the crashing waves.”

I thought this was an accurate description of how we’re all doing.

Some of us are able to withstand a lot while others are struggling to just get out of bed in the morning. And that’s okay. Show grace to those who may not be handling things as well as you. Check-in on them. If there is someone in your life that has anxiety about going school supply shopping, offer to do it for them! If you’re the one that’s not handling things well, reach out for help. Give yourself time to adapt and adjust. Take it easy on yourself and others. 

Do you have any tips you’d add to this list? Share in the comments below! 

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