Some of you will remember the “good ole days” when school started the day after the Labor Day holiday. That’s why I always envision the beginning of the year is September. It was exciting to see the wide array of school supplies for sale all over town. And new school clothes and shoes. How many parents, like me, had to make a last minute trip to a store for new sneakers for a child or two, the kind that wouldn’t leave marks on the school’s gym floor? Decisions had to be made about backpacks, lunch boxes, the school supplies list for each child’s classroom – while parents wondered how many boxes of Kleenex could one group of children use in a school year.
The beginning of this school year is different for children and their families. It’s different if you had expected to send your child to school-based PreK or Head Start or child care or private preschool. The coronavirus has changed it for all of us, children, parents, grandparents, teachers.
As adults, we know it’s hard to cope with an ever-changing world, and we know it’s even harder for children. I’ve been looking for resources that can help.
PBS Parents is a reliable source of information and offers these ideas for supporting your children this year, no matter the kind of program they are participating in. Here’s an excerpt from their article:
“Parents and educators are wrestling with enormous questions about the 2020-2021 school year right now: What will it look like if/when children are physically in school? And what will it mean for family life if/when children are at home for hybrid or remote learning?
Despite the looming questions, there’s a lot we can do to bolster our children’s feelings of confidence and security as they head into a new year. When we take time to talk about and practice the “little things” — the routines and skills that support academic growth — it will make a big difference, whatever school looks like for your family.”
Parents are expressing concern about their child’s social/emotional growth and development if they are not spending time with other children or the time spent together is one in which children are masked-up, physically distancing, and not sharing materials, snacks, and all the things young children are usually encouraged to share. Here’s an article that speaks to both younger and older children, “Strategies for supporting your child’s social and emotional learning from home.”
And, whatever your family’s choices, be sure to read, talk, sing, and play with your child, every day!