The 2020 back-to-school season is very much unlike any one before. As kids, parents, teachers, and schools approach the start of a new school year, there are many questions about exactly what this year will look like in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In New Jersey where we are located, we are preparing for a year of virtual schooling and we are thinking of ways to keep Noah entertained, engaged, and stimulated all while balancing our workload.
Here are the ways we are doing our best to get him ready for the year:
Finding time to talk and explain that things will be different in September. Giving Noah the opportunity to share what he feels is remains our priority, and making sure that he feels heard during this adjustment period is on the top of our list. We want to be sure he feel comfortable sharing any difficulties and that we answer any tough questions that arise during this time.
Reorganizing our space to best suit the variety of activities he'll engage in throughout the day. We want to make sure that wherever he's learning, writing, painting or playing, we create as many defined spaces throughout our home that allow him to so comfortably.
Keeping Noah stimulated and focused as best we can. We've invested in new, non-digital learning tools and games to break up the virtual nature of the day so that he can still learn and play in different areas throughout his new "classroom." Thankfully, our collapsible snack cup, originally designed for food and fruit pieces has a variety of uses, including portable storage for small toys and block pieces.
Incorporating outdoor exercise and meal times. Until it gets too cold, we are planning to venture outdoors for a little exercise and during lunch. We've got our reusable and disposable bibs handy in our handy, multipurpose diaper bag-backpack to make sure that we can be flexible to allow for some time outdoors to avoid getting too stir-crazy.
It's important to remember that we as parents and our kids are adapting to these lifestyle changes. Thankfully kids are resilient by nature, and as parents we can model that resilience too. Being flexible, adapting to change, and being positive are all important life skills to have, and this major shift due to COVID-19 is an apt teaching moment for developing these skills. We wish you and your family the best of luck this school year as we are all learning together how to make this safe and meaningful for our kids.