Going back to school this year feels worlds away from normal. Students are attending their first day online or stuck in a classroom wearing a mask. No matter how your child’s school is handling COVID, this school year is guaranteed to be different and challenging for everyone involved. As we start out, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with the difficult and negative things that come along with this “new normal”. The stress can be draining for parents and students alike. In times that are overwhelming, I like to look toward the positive, even if it’s just for a few moments. So, I’ve chosen to write this blog to highlight the positives of COVID schooling - the amazing lessons our kids can learn from this crazy situation.
Here are the skills I think our kids will walk away with after the pandemic:
Rolling with the punches and being flexible
Most kids struggle to be flexible. Routine and predictability are what students thrive on- even if they push the boundaries. Though it’s still crucial to help our kids have some sort of routine and predictability, going to school during a pandemic is bound to expose students to just how unpredictable life can be. Having to work through the stress and disappointment of school not being as predictable as it used to be can be SO difficult and trying, but on the other end is a kid who knows how to deal when things don’t go as planned.
How to handle stressful and difficult situations
No matter how your child is attending school this year, they will be experiencing something ALL NEW. This can be stressful! Figuring out how to log into the online portal, dealing with a forgotten password, remembering to put your mask on after lunch, not being able to hear the teacher through her mask...the list could go on and on. Kids are going to be put in situations that they must figure out in order to keep moving forward...and nine times out of ten they’re going to surprise us with how they handle difficult circumstances. This will reward them for years to come. As we all know, stressful and hard situations become more frequent as we age.
How to manage their time
When asking parents what they would like their child to learn, time management and organization always comes at the top of the list. Often, students have teachers and parents helping them manage their time during the day. There is often time set aside for them to do assignments in class and sometimes whole periods dedicated to things like homework and practice. During virtual schooling, students will be left to figure these things out on their own. As a parent, this may strike up some panic, and for students this is a ROUGH transition. The good news is that the opportunity to practice this skill every day can result in a student who is much better at managing their time. We just may need to help them along a little bit ;)
As we conduct school in a way that we never have before, students, parents, and teachers are bound to experience a pile of problems. Though it’s stressful and messy in the moment, getting to see adults work through issues and working through problems on their own will help students become excellent problem solvers. It may be uncomfortable to let your child figure out how to recover a forgotten password or reach out to a teacher to ask a question, but the benefits are well worth the discomfort (and probably conflict). I predict that when we go back to “normal” schooling, we will see that our kids are much better at navigating tricky or new situations.
We’re all struggling with the changes to the school year and the weight of the pandemic. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to your child about how to give grace to themselves and others. Recognizing that someone is having a hard time and giving them grace and/or help is a powerful skill that will serve your child well.
Starting school this year is even more stressful than normal. We want to help in any way that we can! Sign up for a free consult call today to chat about your child’s specific needs and how we might be able to help them reach their academic goals.