The CDC recently released guidelines to keep kids safe at school. But with new information changing week to week, it looks as though our school children will be learning remotely until future notice. Here are some ways for parents to prepare our children for a school year of learning ahead!
1. Communicate concerns!
Kindergarten can be a scary time for children and not knowing what to expect from the school year can cause worry. Give your child space and time to express their concerns about the school year. Tell your child because of the coronavirus, nobody really will know for sure what school year will look like, and things might change after a few months.
2. Emphasize safety and health.
Talk to your child about the safety precautions everyone is taking to ensure the health of teachers and students. New rules will have to be enforced: physical distancing, mask-wearing and frequent sanitizing of hands. Let them know that there might be some restrictions around the playground and face-to-face activities. It’s important for the children to understand in simple terms why following the rules is very important. By being team players, the children are doing their part.
3. Encourage curiosity and love of learning.
Most kids think that kindergarten is going to be fun! And it is! Teachers are working hard to keep the children engaged through virtual learning. While the platform may be different, kids will do all the same amazing things they can do at school: games, activities, playtime, storytelling and crafts. Talk to your child about the world of learning that will be gently opening up for them.
4. Create a fun environment for distance learning.
Before the school starts, make sure your child has a device to access the internet and reliable Internet service. Many schools are distributing WIFI hotspots and loaner laptops for children who need them. Create a schedule so your child can keep up with assignments and create a routine that they can stick to. Set up a learning space that is free of noise and distractions. Consider getting your child noise-canceling headphones.
5. Carve out social time for your child.
With a remote learning plan, many kids will be missing out on social interaction. It’s important that you maintain social connections safely. Create a social pod with another kindergarten family, so you can plan some safe socially distanced activities with other children. Your child can also have zoom “play dates” with fun activities.
Check the CDC’s website for more information about getting ready for school.
About Felton Institute: Founded in 1889, Felton Institute responds to human needs by providing cutting edge, evidence-based mental health and social services that transform lives. Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.
Offering more than 50 acclaimed and honored programs that address homelessness, mental health, prenatal, adolescent, adult and senior needs, Felton Institute provides services in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Monterey counties.
Felton is named for its social services pioneer and executive director Dr. Katharine “Kitty” Felton who was called the ”conscience of San Francisco” and was committed to ensuring that children and families in crisis have access to social services and resources in order to help them build upon their inherent strengths and develop self-sufficiency. www.felton.org