If you're anything like me , you may be worried about lots of different ways lockdown maybe effecting our tiny ones. In particularly how your children will reacts with going back to school. Especially if things are going to look a little different to usual!
We chatted with lovely Primary School teacher, Lauren Davies, and asked her to give us some tips on how we can prepare our little ones when the time comes to return to the classroom.
Try to get back into the sleep and morning routine as soon as you know your child is going back to school. The earlier you do this the better. The loss of the daily commute and school run could have been giving your child longer in bed recently so it is a good idea to start transitioning them back to your daily school routine times. How many times has your child asked for a snack during their time at home?! It will also benefit them if they have clear snack and meal times so they can readjust their habits before heading back to school. If your child has spent a lot of time on their iPads so that you can effectively work from home, get them used to limited screen time in advance of returning to school.
Hygiene & self care
Teach your child how to independently wash their hands and how often you expect them to do so during school. If your child’s school is also requiring the wearing of masks or any other PPE make sure they know how to effectively wear and dispose of it. Teach your younger children how to put on their own jacket to minimise contact with others and make sure they can tie their laces or have other appropriate footwear they can put on themselves.
Talk to them about social distancing
Your school might already have rules or measures in place for social distancing, discuss these with your child and how important it is to follow them. This way your child won’t be surprised on their first day back at school. New rules might mean that they are not able to play their favourite playground games anymore, this can be a big deal for a little one to adjust to. Also make sure they understand that they cannot touch each other or their belongings and that their own personal space should be respected.
Fill us in on what we’ve missed
Your children have been away from school for a long time now, during which time a lot could have changed in your child’s life. Please let your child’s teacher know if they have suffered any bereavements or have witnessed any family members falling ill with COVD-19. Perhaps your child has been feeling emotional at bedtime, all of these pieces of information will help the teacher to support your child to readjust back to school life.
Talk to your child and discuss thoughts, feelings and worries. Every child will have different responses to returning to school, some will be excited, some worried and some nervous. Make sure your child knows that they can share their feelings with you and that you will listen and respond appropriately to their age.
Read read read…. And then read some more
Read with them, read TO them and let them overhear you talking about what you're reading. If there's only one educational or school based activity you can find the time for then it should be reading as this will support them in all subject areas, even Maths!
Play games following simple age appropriate instructions and practise following them the first time. Your child’s teacher will appreciate this a lot! Instead of playing ‘Simon Says...’, how about mixing it up and playing ‘Mummy says…’
Be kind and patient towards your children while they readjust back to school life again. There will be days when they are happy and excited and other days when they are so exhausted they will have a meltdown about what you’ve cooked for dinner. This is all part of the readjustment process. Be kind to your child’s teacher, they have endured multiple huge learning curves and will really appreciate your support. Be kind to the other parents who might have different circumstances and are choosing to do things differently to you. While we have all been in the same storm, we have not all been in the same boat. The only way forward is together!
Want to find out more?
Parentzone can give you more information about how the pandemic might have affected your child’s sleep.
The NSPCC has published an article about what children are saying about the coronavirus.
NHS Mental Health Experts have created 8 top tips for helping families who are feeling the pressure of lockdown together at home.