Talking about the new school year- A comprehensive guide for parents
Last year was different for most kids compared to previous school years. Most students only attended online classes. They were unable to socialize with teachers and friends as before. Students naturally may be nervous about returning to the classroom in the coming school year. This is especially true if it is their first time attending a new school. So, as a parent, how can you assist your child in adjusting to the new school system in 2021? You can’t do their work for them, but you can change how you think about it and, more importantly, how you talk to your child about school.
We’ll go over the academic, emotional, and social aspects.
Prioritize mental health
Everyone’s mental health has suffered due to the past year, and students are no exception. According to a survey of parents conducted in October 2020, 31% reported that their children’s mental or emotional health was worse than at the start of the year.
Be aware of mental health issues.
Look for signs that your child has mental health problems, such as increased irritability, clinginess, or fear, difficulty sleeping, and a loss of appetite. If you see these signs, communicate with them openly.
Discuss their feelings of anxiety, depression, or stress with them.
If these symptoms become severe or worsen over time, consult a health professional and, if necessary, seek mental health care for your child. Many insurers and care providers have recently increased telehealth availability, so your child may be able to see a counsellor or therapist from the comfort of their own home.
Work on your life skills.
While your child is learning academic skills, some psychiatric researchers recommend discussing essential life skills such as stress management and problem-solving.
With them, try anxiety-relieving techniques like deep breathing, visualization, or rubbing a worry stone. Also, try to be a good role model in your daily life.
When you or your family encounter a problem, demonstrate your strategies for coping with negative emotions and problem-solving.
Teach older children household responsibilities like money management, cleaning, and cooking.
Use this time to teach them responsibility, accountability, involvement, and collaboration.
Keep an eye out for signs of stress.
Keep an eye out for signs that your child may require mental health assistance.
Among these indicators are:
-Changes in activities or behaviors that occur unexpectedly
-Weight loss or gain that occurs unexpectedly
-Problems at school or in extracurricular activities, such as missing homework or discontinuing participation
-Reckless behavior, such as withdrawing or behaving rebelliously, aggressively, or rashly
-Excessive isolation, for example, is a sign of depression.
-Abuse or misuse of substances
-Sleeping excessively or insufficiently destructive behaviors such as self-injury
-Suicide and death are topics that can be discussed or written about.
Assist them in adjusting to in-person learning.
Many schools are returning to in-person instruction for the majority of students.
Even if things appear to be returning to normal, don’t expect or tell your child that school will have the same feel as it did before the pandemic.
For the foreseeable future, schools will be more concerned with social distancing and health practices, which will affect both the classroom and more social activities such as lunch.
Furthermore, some schools will not immediately return to academics.
Some will ease children back into regular school day routines by providing extra breaks, social-emotional learning activities, and bonding opportunities between classmates who haven’t seen each other in a while.
Discuss your child’s studies with them.
Every parent asks their child how school went, and some children enjoy talking about school and providing detailed responses.
Other children, on the other hand, will respond with “fine” and nothing else.
Usually, that would be fine, but now is the time to talk to your child about school and make sure they’re doing well.
Pose open-ended inquiries.
Try to use open-ended questions when asking your child about school. If you ask questions that can be answered in a single word, such as “yes” or “good,” you may get only that. A question such as “who did you enjoy talking to the most today?” can elicit a more detailed response.
We must all learn together.
Don’t be afraid to offer to explore a complex issue with you if you don’t know all of the details.
You don’t always have to have the correct answer right away, and it’s OK to turn a problematic question into a fact-finding adventure.
Maybe you and your child could go to the library and look for some age-appropriate books on the subject.
Deal with your emotions
Finally, don’t dismiss the emotional component of big questions.
When kids ask a big question, they’re not always sure how it will affect their lives.
Assuage your child’s fears by assuring them that they are safe and loved.
And don’t forget about your own emotional needs.
If your child asks you a personal question, such as the death of a family member, don’t be afraid to share your feelings or seek assistance from another adult.
Close learning gaps
Researchers are unsure how much of an impact COVID-19 had on learning loss, but preliminary research suggests that the effects were significant. As a result, even if your child has never needed extra help in school, they may require it this year. Keep a close eye on how your child performs on homework, quizzes, and tests.
If you’re concerned about your child’s ability to meet state grade-level standards, you can use a program to determine where their knowledge levels fall, as well as which concepts they already know and which ones they still need to learn. Here are some ways to address learning gaps.
Forming a study group with some of your child’s classmates or neighbourhood friends is a collaborative way to help them all succeed academically.
Kids who excel in certain subjects can assist their struggling friends, promoting social bonding after a year of increased isolation. It’s worth noting that you’ll probably want a parent to keep everyone on track for elementary and middle school students.
Private tutoring is the best way to ensure that your child receives one-on-one assistance from a subject expert.
Instruction is tailored to your child’s specific needs, and sessions can be scheduled around your family’s schedule. A skilled tutor can not only help your child close any learning gaps that have developed, but they can also teach study skills, confidence, and a love of the subject material that will benefit them in school for years to come. Tutoring can be done in person or online, and it is surprisingly affordable if you know where to look.
Miles Smart Tutoring provides the best and affordable, customized tutoring services. Students and parents can evaluate their needs and choose a tutor who will be the right fit—our Socratic method of learning emphasizes building concepts and learning to apply them in real life. Our excellent academic plans have helped hundreds of students address learning gaps. We assure customized support, lesson plans, and assistance to your child.
After a challenging year shaped by the pandemic, the 2021 school year will be different from what many students are used to. Knowing how to talk to your child about school this year will help them adjust to the new school expectations and practices and maintain their mental and emotional well-being. This year, parents will need to be more informed about mental health and more sensitive to their children’s feelings. You can help your child become more self-reliant by teaching them basic calming strategies and problem-solving skills. However, it would help if you also learned to ask the right questions, listen carefully to your child’s questions, and recognize warning signs.