Just like you, PDX Tutors entered August feeling torn. Everyone is ready to get back-to-school, but this school year is going to look very different due to Covid-19.
Across Oregon, districts like Portland Public Schools are in various stages of determining what their 2020/2021 school plans will be. As parents, it leaves us with uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless. It means that we need to redefine our back-to-school routines and expectations.
Here’s a list of things to focus on, in no particular order, to help you take control of these uncertain times and help your child feel safe, secure and well equipped to continue their education.
Start regular bedtime routines now
If your household has been anything like most over the past four months, the concept of “bedtimes’ has become rather elusive. You set a time, you try to stick to a time, but alternative schedules, quarantine, and working from home has many kids in an extended summer mode.
Irregular sleeping habits aren’t going to be conducive to education once school starts back. If your child is going back to a virtual learning environment it’s important to have a clear schedule around which to operate. It not only creates structure for them, but It also creates boundaries for your time as a parent or caretaker. Start working your child’s bedtime schedule back to normal each night leading up to school to make this transition easier for everyone.
Virtual back to school shopping
Back to school shopping is an exciting event for children. For some, it makes the daunting prospect of school easier to swallow. Just because we aren’t planning for a full year in class doesn’t mean we should forgo that ritual. Order your kid a new shirt, get them a new binder, notepad and pencils. Give them the same tools of empowerment that you’d give them in a regular school year.
Plan an end of summer activity
On top of social distancing requirements and travel risks, many parents are on a tight budget this summer. Many families had to cancel summer trips and have been stuck in the house. Plan a big end of summer event to get your family feeling ready for fall. Your event doesn’t have to be hard. A simple picnic hike, or living room blanket fort is great for many ages. Pull your child’s bed mattress into the living room with a bag of popcorn and enjoy a movie night. Whatever you pick, hype it up so your child feels like this is a special end of summer event. You might even create a new back-to-school tradition!
Important as the bedtime itself, the school schedule during the day is going to be difficult for many families to manage. Work with your child to identify what works best for them and you. Carve out time for specific tasks, programs, recreational activities and more. Print out the schedule and put it in a central location. Your child can help own their education and you can more easily monitor their daily routines.
Those are some big ways to ease you and your student into this unique back-to-school season.
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Multnomah county resources
Portland Public Schools
Beaverton School District