Our perception of what schooling is supposed to look like is about to be challenged, as kids prepare to head back to school in the coming weeks. With COVID-19 still a threat in the United States and around the world, schools are changing how they plan to educate their students for the foreseeable future. Depending on where you live, that could mean completely online learning, reduced in-person instruction, and a variety of restrictions and safety regulations to follow. If you’re worried about your kids falling behind, you’re not alone. Many parents are worried about the school situation and what a year without traditional in-person class time will do. So, what can you do to help your kids through? Let’s go over some basics when it comes to school in the coronavirus pandemic.
Be flexible and follow recommendations from health experts.
Given the ongoing situation with COVID-19, situations regarding in-person learning have the potential to change on short notice. Make sure you keep up with your local news and follow all recommended safety precautions from both your local authorities and the CDC. As outbreaks have begun to break out in schools, talk to your child about the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask, both to protect themselves and everyone around them. As we don’t know everything about this disease yet and new information is coming in rapidly, it’s essential to pay attention and keep yourself informed of any new developments, so you can keep yourself and your family as safe as possible in a dangerous time.
Consider supplementing with an online tutor.
Many parents are concerned about whether their children will fall behind given the unusual circumstances surrounding schooling and education this year. While that’s a valid concern, there are plenty of options for parents who want to provide their children with additional learning opportunities. You might have familiarity with certain subjects, but with more technical areas like math, it might make sense to reach out to an expert. There are plenty of high-quality programs and teachers who tutor math online. Look for a program that is well-regarded, flexible, and taught by an educator with established credentials. Read reviews and ask friends who have used tutors before about their experiences, then talk to your kids about the idea. Getting a sense of what your child’s learning style is will help you find the right match to help maintain consistency in their education throughout the ongoing pandemic.
Be patient with your kids.
This is an unknown situation for kids too, and the disruption to their routine is both unusual and upsetting in many ways. Kids are struggling to figure all of this out just the same as we are, so try to be kind and understanding as they adapt to new routines in a stressful time. While they may be confused, anxious, or upset, it’s important to explain to them what’s going on and why everything has to be handled differently for the time being. You don’t need to be harsh, but kids are often smarter than we realize, and helping them understand the difficult realities of COVID-19 will help them manage their emotions about the situation going forward.
While the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the traditional educational model in the United States, that doesn’t mean your child has to fall behind or take unnecessary risks. If your child will be having in-person classes, talk to them about safety precautions. If you’re concerned about a lack of structured education or have a child who requires extra attention in certain areas, consider enlisting an online tutor to help out. It’s a safe way to boost your child’s time learning in a productive way without any additional exposure to the virus. Finally, be patient and help them out when you can. This is difficult for all of us, and a little empathy goes a long way.