Children have experienced a great deal of change these past 18 months. As many schools return to in person learning there might be apprehension that comes along with the new normal. Here are a few ways you can help children transition from virtual to in person learning.
Provide a refresh in socialization skills
Guide children to reconnect with friends. It may have been sometime since your child has had the opportunity to be around school friends. Set up play dates in whatever way feels safe for you, whether that is virtually or in person.
Celebrate skills learned during virtual times
Incorporate some of the things you enjoyed during online learning and keep them a part of your routine. Maybe a coding website was discovered or a weekly gaming meet up was created? Keep in your schedule some of the new found activities that worked well for your kiddos.
Encourage children to discuss their feelings about returning in person
Contact the school counselor for resources and support if you feel that it is needed. It can also be helpful to teach children coping mechanisms for when they feel overwhelmed. Remind kids of strategies that have helped them feel calmer in the past: breathing techniques, taking mindful moments, or stretching etc.
Have the expectation that it may take time. Start small and build back into a routine. Give yourselves grace and patience. Remember to build time into your schedule to check in with kids individually. Happy learning!
Stephanie Standley M. Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Master of Education-Literacy from the University of San Diego. Stephanie has 12+ years of classroom experience as a teacher and currently supports students in Special Education. She is inspired to use evidence-based practices to educate children in creative and engaging ways.