• Nichole LaGrow

Back to School 2020

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

It is hard to feel welcomed back to school with the new school year. As we return, each school seems to have different plans. Some of us have returned to classrooms and schools that look very different as we practice social distancing and wear masks. Others are at school for two days and learning online for three. Still, others are fully online. Back to School actually feels more like a new venture into an unknown than a return to normalcy.

So how do we help our middle graders navigate this new normal?

Be honest. This is new for all of us. And that means we don't always have all the answers or that answers might change. That also means we have to be willing to have difficult conversations like why do we have to wear masks or why can't I sit next to my friend on the bus?

Try to have a regular school schedule. It is super important that kids know when they should focus on school. It is easy to follow a schedule if your child is at school. If your child will be learning virtually two or three days a week, try to keep the same schedule and follow the same order of classes. If your child is entirely online, ask your child's teachers if there is a schedule your child should keep. If you need to adjust when school work is completed on virtual days because you are not home during normal school hours, set a time on evenings or weekends when you will work through school material with your child.

Find some technology-free time for the whole family. We had already built some parameters around technology. Our house rules are:

1. No technology at the dinner table

2. An hour of video games a day

3. No technology after 8:30 (unless it is a family movie night)

But as we worked from home and our kids went to school online, we found we needed time to disconnect. We made an effort to plan outdoor activities, like hikes or yard work, that we all did together and we did without any technology.

As we return to school, it is important that we have compassion for our teachers, our children, and ourselves. We are all trying to make sense of this new normal.

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