Even under normal circumstances, the impending school year is a stressful time for parents and kids. But this year, back-to-school stress has intensified (to say the least) as we watch a pandemic sweep through our country and listen to endless opinions about schools reopening and whether it’s safe for our kids to return.
With our lives strapped into what feels like a never ending rollercoaster, parents need some help. So no matter what school decisions you face this year with virtual learning, homeschooling, in-person learning or some mix of it all, we’re here to help you plan and make the right choices for your family. Here’s a list of resources for staying healthy, learning at home, maintaining balance and managing stress during back-to-school 2020.
- For Kids Going Back to the Classroom
- For Kids Learning at Home
- For Parents That Need Some Balance
- For Managing Stress
FOR KIDS GOING BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
For kids returning to the classroom this year, their health is unquestionably at the top of all of our minds, so we’ve laid out a 5-part plan and resources for helping make the transition as smooth and healthy as possible for the entire family.
1. Talk to Your Kids About COVID-19
Having an honest, calm conversation about COVID-19 with your kids will help them understand the importance of safety measures as they return to school. Even if your conversation can’t guarantee your kid will always wash their hands properly or keep their masks on, it can help them feel more in control as they navigate the changes away from home.
Remember to continue this conversation beyond the first few days of class so kids remember how to stay safe and don’t feel like the rules are being relaxed.
2. Create A Contingency Plan
Before your kids go back to school, create a COVID back-to-school plan in case they get sick. Designate a room in your house for a sick family member to quarantine in and plan additional precautions for high-risk family members. Use this household checklist from the CDC for more guidelines.
3. Get the Right Supplies
In addition to traditional back-to-school supplies, your kid might want to head back with some extra goods to keep them healthy.
4. Have Healthy Home Habits
Keeping your kids safe at school starts with some simple steps at home.
- CDC guidelines on how to keep your household safe
- How to keep your family healthy while staying inside
5. Ensure They’re Fueled for Success
Whether your kids’ school cafeterias are closed or lunchtime will be spent at home a few days a week, it’s important to make sure your kids are receiving the nutrition they need to maintain a healthy immune system. Nurture Life is here to help—from our time-saving fresh school lunches to our healthy snack ideas for kids.
FOR KIDS LEARNING AT HOME
If your kid won’t be returning to the classroom, we’ve put together resources to help them adjust to learning in the home.
How to Create an At-Home Learning Environment
It may be hard for your kids to separate “school time” from their regular time at home. But you can help create this distinction by setting up a designated spot in your house where your kids can be distraction-free (even if it is just a corner away from your working corner). Use this guide to creating a productive virtual learning environment and consider investing in some household items to create a motivating space for your kids:
At-Home Learning Resources for Younger Kids
While preschool- through kindergarten-aged kids might not have the same school-day structure as older kids, school provides opportunities for younger kids to meet key developmental milestones. Here are some resources to expose your younger kids to activities that will continue their learning and development:
- A guide to the social, emotional, physical and cognitive milestones kids should be hitting in preschool
- Activities to help kids meet developmental milestones at home
- Starfall: Interactive learning site for kindergarteners
At-Home Learning Resources for Older Kids
For older kids who are feeling behind without in-person instruction or are not engaged in virtual classes, here are some of our favorite options for supplementary learning:
- A subject-by-subject guide to at-home learning
- Khan Academy: Free courses from 1st graders through highschoolers
- Take a virtual field trip
FOR PARENTS THAT NEED SOME BALANCE
Whether you’re trying to maintain your work schedule while your kids are learning at home, or you’re in the midst of figuring out pick-ups and drop-offs will work with hybrid schedules, here are a few resources to help keep life balanced this school year:
- A comprehensive guide to alternative school schedules
- A guide to creating a family “pods”
- A guide to creating a schedule for your kids at home
- Time management tips for busy parents
- A realistic guide to working from home with kids
As you navigate a completely different year, remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Whether you decide to delegate chores to your kids or outsource school day meals with Nurture Life’s healthy kids meal delivery, it’s normal to need to take pressure off of your typical responsibilities!
FOR MANAGING EVERYONE’S STRESS
Mental wellness is important for every member of your family as the new back-to-school season brings new challenges. Whether your kids are returning to in-school classes or virtual learning, remember to check in with them about their feelings, worries or anxieties about heading back to school with these helpful tips:
- A psychologist’s tips for talking to your kids about returning to school
- A list of ways you can support your kids this back-to-school season
While it’s completely normal to worry about your kids this back-to-school season, it’s important to remember your own well being. Parents are extending themselves more than ever before, and this stress can weigh heavily on your ability to keep going. Remember to take a moment for yourself, even if it’s just with one of these simple tips for parent self-care.
As you work to keep your families safe, establish new learning routines and adjust to changing schedules, remember you’re doing the best you can to navigate uncharted waters. We may not have a clear vision of where this year is going, but we do know that 2020 is the year to get and give help anywhere you can.
While no one has all the answers this back-to-school season, Nurture Life is here to help with your kids’ nutrition. Send a message to our nutrition experts at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your kids’ nutrition this school year.