The 2020-2021 school year is going to be an unusual one. Some children are still solely learning virtual and some have returned to in-class learning. Then there are the children who are getting a hybrid education, with some virtual and some on-site teaching . Regardless of where and how a child is learning, there are many hurdles for families to get over to get the most out of school. The American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with some tips to help every child have the best year possible.1
The tips include:
- Create and maintain a built-in routine for each weekday. Maintain this routine both when the child has virtual learning and when the child has in-person education.
- For the child who is learning virtually, make sure he/she/they has a quiet place to attend school and that they have the supplies and login information needed for necessary accounts.
- For the child who is learning in-school, make sure the child has multiple face masks that are labelled with the child’s name. Rehearse proper mask technique with child.
- Ensure the child is up-to-date on all vaccinations. If vaccinations are needed or there is uncertainty about whether a child has all needed vaccinations, the parent should contact the child’s pediatrician.
- Encourage the child to take ownership of his or her learning. Parents should provide help only when absolutely necessary.
- Discuss mental health with the child and watch out for signs that more mental health help may be needed. If the child is having trouble with school, contact the school and the child’s pediatrician.
- Talk to the child’s teacher about how the child is handling the situation. Be sure to bring up any specific concerns.
- Watch out for signs of struggle with school work. If a child is struggling, contact the child’s pediatrician to schedule an appointment for a learning disability evaluation or to see if the struggles are linked to something else.
- Do not send the child to school if he or she is showing any sign of illness. Contact the pediatrician to talk about the next steps.
- For children with disabilities, discuss an individualized plan with both the pediatrician and educators.
- Ensure that parents have some time to themselves, when they don’t have to worry about caring for their child.
1. American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP offers back-to-school tips amid COVID-19. Services.aap.org. Published September 1, 2020. Accessed September 16, 2020. https://services.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2020/aap-offers-back-to-school-tips-amid-covid-19/.