Preparing your kids for going back to school

For many children, it has been months since they were last at school, but they could be back in the classroom soon.

Rising fourth grader Leura Rowsey has been cooped up and learning her lessons from home due to COVID, and she is ready to go back. She states, “Well, it’s a new year and I cannot wait to meet my new teachers. I’ve been missing my friends. I can’t wait to make new friends. So, that’s why I’m excited to go back to school.”

For many kids, their typical day has been school at home, online academics, and learning around the kitchen table. Now, UT Extension experts say that after this long layoff, it is time to reestablish some old routines. UT Extension’s Shirley Hastings says, “You know a regular bedtime, establishing what breakfast is going to be like, what time they have to leave home, and making sure the kids are up and dressed and ready to go.” Family experts also say that a few rehearsal mornings would not be bad idea.

Students and teachers face a school year with lots of unknowns. This fall will almost certainly look different from the past, and parents should prepare their children. “I might only go to school Monday-Wednesday-Friday, or I may only be going for half days... They’re not thinking they may to wash their hands everyday with hand sanitizer, they may have to wear a mask, they may have to get their temperatures checked,” according to Matt Devereaux.

Chad Tipton, the principle for Rockford Elementary, says that many Tennessee schools and parents have been working to keep children up-to-date on academics, but when classes start again, there will be a time of adjustment. He notes, “There’s going to be gap that we’re going to focus on trying to catch our kiddos up, but the most important thing at this point is the overall well-being of our students.”