March 2020 feels like forever ago, but that was the last time my four kiddos stepped foot inside a school. In just a few days, they’ll be back to their school buildings – three of them in new to them buildings. Our district allowed the option of in school or cyber and we are giving in school a try. Check out these COVID-19 back to school hacks we will be using in our house this fall.
Note – these “hacks” are my personal advice and ways that we are going to be getting ready in our home. Feel free to comment with any that you would add!
There is nothing worse than getting that call from the school that you have to go get your sick child. This year, our district is going to be checking temperatures of all students as they enter the building. We are going to be prepared by taking their temperatures right at home before they even head out the door to the bus. We hope this will avoid getting that call from the school that we need to drive up and pick up 1, 2, 3, or even all 4 kiddos due to an abnormal temperature.
Also, our school is having 2-week quarantines if there are issues with kids coming in sick. Mentally, I'm just preparing that if we have a sick kid it means in home schooling for two weeks. If we are ready, the instant flexibility that was mandatory for us in March won't be so daunting.
Routine was thrown out the door when our kids were home with us full time in the spring. Some nights were movie nights, others the kids crashed super early. There was no set time to wake up because for the most part there were no classess to get to or buses to catch. Our house is going back to an 8:30 PM bedtime and 6:45 AM wakeup, giving us all much needed sleep.
And speaking of much needed sleep - we love our blackout curtains to help cut down the noise from the street and the lights from outside. I suggest checking out our 'lil Burghers post about the curtains the twins use to keep them snoozing all night long.
As parents, we are sometimes the last ones to know what is really going on in our kids lives. Having conversations with your kids helps to give them confidence and opens the door for them to talk to you. It has to go deeper than "how was your day". The Our Moments collection, available on Amazon, is a great way to get those conversations going.
Once you have their attention, add in some reassurance that they aren't alone in dealing with back to school during a pandemic. Let them know you're proud of their flexibility and that you, their teachers, and others are doing things to keep them safe.
Consider switching up the mundane of school + home cycle and do something new every now and then. Sure, things aren't going to be widely opened up yet, but maybe while we still have nice weather get out for a family hike somewhere new, try a virtual art class together, or cook a new to you meal one evening. Just switch things up every now and then and keep the brains and muscles fresh.
Let your kiddos know that wearing their mask, taking their own water bottles, not wearing a backpack, and sitting six feet apart is important for helping the virus from spreading. Teaching them at home that they can keep others safe will help with their classroom compassion.
PSST: If you haven't already, do some reading up about the Enneagram. Knowing your personality type + being able to recognize the types of your kiddos will help you to have the tougher conversations as we navigate this school year. Click the "read more" to find out about my favorite book on this topic!