Remote-learning, although difficult at first, became the norm during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who might have disliked e-Learning at first ended up enjoying many aspects of remote learning. Especially for students who have heightened anxiety in larger groups, remote learning provided a lot of comfort. Now that your student has returned or is preparing to return to in-person learning, here are a few tips about how you can provide adequate support to ease the transition:
- • Set and stick to routines,
- • Practice managing anxiety, and
- • Secure an online tutor.
Set & Stick To Routines
Routines are comforting. If you have a regular schedule, you know that one break in your routine can really throw off your morning, if not your whole day. If you usually start your day with coffee and program your coffee machine to brew first thing in the morning, you know how much even a simple glitch like forgetting to get that pot of coffee set up can throw off your morning. You wake up, smell the air…no coffee! Now, the routine is broken and you’re scrambling to get it back together. Your kids do better with routines, too, so providing some as they return to school will help bring comfort, calm, and security to their day.
Some of these routines are as simple as making sure they go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. You can even wake them up yourself with a wonderfully cheesy good morning song that they can rely on (and roll their eyes at) every morning. Ensuring that they are back into the groove of routine hygiene is also important. Now that everyone is going back to work and school, the bathroom is going to be busier, so setting up a schedule can help you avoid chaos in the morning. Who needs to take care of hygiene at night and who is better off in the morning? We’re not saying to stand outside the bathroom with a stopwatch, but some order will help everyone’s morning work out a lot better. Another routine to think about is the time they need to get outside after school. After a year or more of working on school from the comfort of their own home, being back in the four walls of a classroom can feel stifling, so making sure your students get outside where there are no walls is going to be important for their mental and physical health.
Practice Managing Anxiety
Your children have been experiencing the same lock-down as you, and some are going to handle going back to school really well, while others are going to need some help managing their mental health post-pandemic. Dr. MacLean of the Centers for Disease Control reported to the American Medical Association that to overcome anxiety about reopening, “step back and pause.” They recommend to “give yourself permission to take it slow.” Your children are no different. We’ve thrown them right back into a building with wall-to-wall human beings after keeping them quarantined and locked down for over a year. It’s going to be important to help them take it slow when they aren’t in school. Help them learn how to express to their teachers when they need a break and why. Communicate their anxiety to their teachers so that their instructors have heard from you that your child is going to need to take breaks.
Teach and practice some mindfulness techniques with your student so that they understand how to both catch their anxiety ahead of time and regulate it when it comes. Remind them that they can close their eyes and breathe anywhere in order to slow their heartrate and center their mind. In the same way, positive self-talk can help your student get through this transitional period. Come up with a mantra that they can say to themselves when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Even one simple, positive sentence that they can repeat in their head or under their breath can really pull them through tough moments of anxiety.
If your student is anxious about the virus, remind them of the positive benefits of handwashing and masks. If they’re practicing preventative measures, then catching COVID at school will be far less likely. Do a little research with them about the benefits of these preventative measures to help ease their fears.
Secure A Tutor
The statistics are clear. Many students fell behind due to inexperienced districts switching to online learning. When your student moves on to the next grade level, they might need some help catching up with their skills. In order to prevent further disruption to their academic progress, secure a tutor who can help them recognize what skills they’re missing and what they just need a little more practice in. Online tutoring services like Train the Brain are convenient to schedule and have subject area experts who can ease the burden on both you as the parent and on your child.
If your child is suffering from anxiety because of going back to school, an online tutor is another support for them as they navigate the transition back to the in-person classroom. Not only will the tutor help them catch up on any lost skills, but the online platform will be a familiar safe-zone, similar to when they participated in e-Learning during the pandemic. The comfort they feel working one-on-one with an expert online will help the transition back to in-person school go a lot more smoothly.
We’re all returning to the “norm,” but what has been the norm for over a year during the pandemic is vastly different. The transition is going to take some time. Providing your student with some routines, mental health support, and online tutoring will go a long way toward helping your child adjust to the new, old normal.
Train The Brain is dedicated to providing world-class service at a price anyone can afford. If you’re looking for online tutoring services or homework help, sign up for an account or call us at 888-299-3506 for more information.