Two years ago, our kids (and us, too!) were confronted with a new learning modality: online classes. We experienced a lot of challenges including connectivity issues, adjusting to the new mode of learning, and distractions at home, which could affect the child’s learning experience.
Fast forward today, we’re finally back to face-to-face classes. Well, sort of.
This school year, amidst the pandemic, the Department of Education ordered schools to carry out blended learning approach, at least until October 31 (still hoping it will be hybrid until the end of the school year). This means combining face-to-face classes with online distance learning, modular learning, and TV/radio-based instruction.
The question now is are we really ready to bring our kids back to school?
Surely, the schools did their part in ensuring that our child’s second home is a safe learning environment. In fact, guidelines were set forth by the DepEd, which schools must follow. As parents, we also need to prepare our kids to make sure that they won’t get the virus.
Now that my kids are back in school, here are some of the preparations we did:
VACCINATION IS A MUST.
Even before the school year starts, we already scheduled a vaccination for the kids. Thankfully, their school facilitated this, so we were able to get them fully vaccinated.
Vaccine against Covid-19 is not a 100 percent guarantee that our kids won’t get it. Still, I’m all for protection and minimizing the risk, so getting vaccinated is a must.
Although schools won’t be making inoculation mandatory among kids, some schools (ours, included) require submission of negative antigen test. Aside from the hassle, this can be costly, too.
PRACTICE THE MORNING ROUTINE.
The kids have two weeks online classes before going back to face-to-face sessions. Prior to this, we made sure that our morning routine is in check – waking up earlier than usual, eating breakfast, and getting ready for school. Of course, we didn’t ask the kids to wake up at 5:00am (which is their usual wake up time during F2F classes), but the point is we need to get them ready.
This leads me to the next tip.
LET THEM SLEEP EARLY.
According to the CDC, school-age children (six to 12 years old) must have at least nine to 12 hours of sleep everyday. We take sleep seriously at home and don’t allow our kids to sleep late.
At least two weeks before their first day of classes, we made sure that the kids are in bed by 8:00pm. It’s a bit challenging now that they’re bigger but we consider this as a form of discipline, too. After all, getting proper amount of sleep helps kids more focused and keeps them alert.
REMIND KIDS OF SAFETY PROTOCOLS.
Kids tend to get excited to see their friends. I mean, who doesn’t? Still, it’s a good opportunity to remind our little ones of safety protocols, especially when inside the school. Explain that there will be changes in how classes will be conducted compared to pre-pandemic days.
That being said, remind kids to:
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Wash hands.
- Avoid sharing, especially food and water.
- Observe proper social distancing by following the distance markers.
- Hand wave will do.
Also, teach kids to be mindful of the people surrounding them. If s/he notices a classmate exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, then the school and parents must be alerted immediately.
DON’T FORGET THE HYGIENE KIT.
Hygiene kits are mandatory in my girls’ school although they rarely use it before (haha!). Now, I always remind them to use the contents inside their hygiene kit to help prevent the spread of virus.
Hygiene kit must include:
- Alcohol / hand sanitizer
- Wipes / tissue
- Extra mask
- Hand soap
- Extra underwear
We, parents, tend to think that we know what our kids want. While this may be true most of the time, let us not dismiss our child’s feelings, especially when preparing for face-to-face classes.
Prior to the start of face-to-face classes, I asked my girls how they feel about going back to school. While they are predominantly excited, they can’t help but worry about the possibility of getting Covid-19. They also get anxious about taking the tests face-to-face, too. (Haha!)
The bottom line is encourage conversation. Talk to the kids and let them know that you are listening to their concerns. Allow them to talk and as parents, let us keep an open mind. Their voices matter, too.
At the end of the day, memories matter.
Of course, safety is still our main priority as parents. However, let us not forget that school days are also meant for memory-building for our kids. Allow our kids to grow and enjoy their time in school with their friends and classmates. Let them experience things they haven’t experienced for the past two years – with safety precaution in mind. Emphasize the importance of socialization. Just let them be.
At the end of the day, these are the things they will remember more.
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Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.