Back To School: Ways To Prepare Your Kids For The Big Return

16 December 2021
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With kids finally getting a chance to learn and play with their friends in person, it would be myopic to discount the anxieties related to transition. For kids who have spent hardly a year in formal schooling, this transition is going to be especially hard for them as schooling for them has been defined by screens and Zoom meetings rather than actual classrooms and blackboards. In fact, any kind of transition is difficult for adults as well as we transition from WFH to offices, so there is an amount of social anxiety that will creep in as they start normal school again. It may be difficult dealing with school-life disciplines, like getting up very early to catch the bus, dressing up, sitting in a classroom and not in the comfort of your own home, wearing a mask throughout, and dealing with the social environment as opposed to the lone company of the laptop. From dealing with social anxiety to maintaining hygiene standards and rebuilding relationships, here's all that you need to prepare your kids for when getting back to school.

Gradual Habituation - A very important part of reducing friction and discomfort about anything is preparing the mind towards it so that any sudden change is not a shock to the system. So if you have received a message from the school that it will reopen, then start prepping your kids to wake up early from a week before. Start with waking them up half an hour earlier than their usual timing and gradually increase that, till they get to a level where they are comfortable with getting up again at an early hour. Practice school time routine 2-3 days before re-opening so that they are mentally prepared for going back to school.

Dealing With Social Anxiety - It is an understandable fact that young kids will be overwhelmed with the heightened social interaction during normal schools. This is especially difficult for primary school children who have spent the majority of their school lives on screens and so transitioning them to a more social environment that comes with going back to school will be important to navigate. This can be eased if you take your child to parks, play centers, family functions, and playdates which can be done now easily as things have started to open up. Dealing with social environments comes with practice, and it can be uncomfortable for your young kids to leave their familiar environments, but it will train them to work better and co-operate with their classmates without clinging too hard to their comfort zones. This also facilitates them to develop key social skills that will go a long way to help them in the future with their jobs, presentations, and academics.
PS: at Podar we’re mindful and careful about kids and their mental health, hence, take all the precautions to ease them into the class environment. Read more about us here.

Arrange A Mock Classroom Experience - Make going back to school a fun event for your kids. Do a special countdown before school reopens or hold a mock classroom experience. You can invite a bunch of your child’s friends, adhering to the actual class timings, and have them wear their school uniforms. This will be a fun way to get them excited about going back to school. You can be the teacher or have one of your friends play that role. Have fun learning activities and games during this session, arrange for breaks to happen around the time breaks usually happen at their school and maintain the same kind of discipline as would be expected from their school. This will familiarize your kids with actual school environments readying them to face the fun experience of going back to school!

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