With kids getting ready to go back to school next week, we know it must be a daunting time. School is certainly going to be very different this year. You may find that your child will have different assemblies, playtimes and lunchtimes. However, every school is different, so we’d suggest you check with them to find out exactly what the new procedures are.
There are a few things that you may need to do to prepare your children for going back to school, to help make the ‘going back to school experience’ a tad easier! So we asked Ms Reynolds, a primary school teacher with 30 years of experience, what her advice is for parents of children going back to school next week.
Talk to your children about what they should expect
Make your little ones aware of any changes to lunchtimes and playtimes. For example, some schools will be having staggered lunch breaks, separate from other classes. They will be expected to wash their hands more and use the school’s hand sanitiser before leaving the classroom and before eating. The kids will be expected to keep at least one metre away from their peers! We know this is going to be very strange for the little ones, but everyone will be told the same, so hopefully it’ll make it easier!
Getting back a routine
This is going to be a difficult one, considering these last 6 months have felt rather chaotic for everyone. Bedtimes may have gotten later, eating habits may have changed and the urgency to get dressed has no longer been necessary. All these things are of course very much to have been expected, so please don’t punish yourself! However, to help ease your child back into school, it would be good to pick up those old routines again. Start with the bedtime routine and let the kids adjust to going to bed earlier, as well as preparing them to wake up early to get dressed for school. The kids going back to school may also affect your routine, so make sure you’re able to adjust to the hustle and bustle of life again!
Many schools are no longer doing hot meals, so either children will be expected to take packed lunches or the school will provide cold sandwiches and snacks. If you can make packed lunches, then writing a note for your child to read at playtime is always a lovely touch. Especially, whilst things are so strange a message from home will lift a little one’s spirit. It may not seem like much, but kids love it.
List of holiday activities
When term begins and after everyone is settled in the classroom, many teachers will often ask what the kids have been up to over the summer holidays. Although this year, there won’t just be 6 weeks to catch up, but there will be 5 months of activities to discuss. With that in mind, it may be wise to write a quick list the night before of all the things you and your children got up to during lockdown. Whether that’s making bread, painting stones or watching a good series on Netflix, it’s certainly worth jotting down some of the memories made this year. Although 2020 is undoubtedly a year that we will never forget.
Prepare school uniform
Whilst many things will have changed, the rules on wearing school uniform have not! So it may be time to get that school uniform out from the bottom of the wardrobe and give it a quick freshen up. Check to see if those school shoes still fit from when they were last worn back in March!
Plan something nice to do for the end of the day
It’s always nice to have something to look forward to no matter what age! In this instance, planning to take your kid somewhere fun for after a long first day back at school, will help make the day less daunting. You could plan a trip out for dinner, or a trip to the shops or a trip to the playground! Whatever you decide to do, it will certainly be a great way to end the day!
Above all, just giving your child a big hug at the end of the day is the best advice, but we don’t need to remind you to do that!
Just remember that all the changes to school procedures are new to everyone. If you are worried about your little ones going back to school, you will certainly not be alone in that. However, we’re sure there will be many of you out there that will be looking forward to finally getting some peace and quiet during the week!