My daughter will be heading back to school, in-person, after spending the last year as a remote student. As if the transition back to in-person schooling isn’t scary enough, this year, she’ll be returning as a fifth-grader. She’s excited about it but has also expressed feeling nervous. I understand. I’m quite terrified, too! Heading back to school comes with its own set of anxieties, especially after a year we’ve had. Now, we have to add it being her final year in elementary school and puberty on top of that. It’s a lot for any child her age to handle. This is why parents need to equip their children with the tools to handle the anxiety experienced with returning to school.
Related: First & Last Day of School Interviews to Commemorate Milestones
Provide Routine and Structure
Being home every single day learning remotely was a challenge, especially in the beginning. Finding our middle ground truly helped. Our days worked best when it was planned out and staying true to her normal school routine. The same will go for returning to school in person for fifth grade. Even though I will be working from home (hopefully indefinitely) our mornings will be reminiscent of prior school years where we both had to be out the door at the same time. This means, getting to bed early, waking up on time, planning lunches, etc.
Prioritize Mental Health
The pandemic has been hard on all of us. Making sure our kids are mentally sound before returning to school is important. It’s also important to periodically check in with them throughout the school year, especially during the first few weeks. Teach them mindfulness techniques like the ones I shared here. Also, helping them learn how to manage stress and anxiety is helpful too.
Engage in Fun Hands-on Activities
The summer slide is real! All a soon-to-be fifth-grade student wants to do is play Roblox, Sims, eat and sleep. I try not to be so hard on her about playing these games because a friend of my husband’s stated that building games like Bloxburg, Sims, and Minecraft are good STEM learning tools. Even though that may be the case, she still needs to read and do things off-screen. Plus, I’d like to get in some bonding time with her before she reaches the age where she doesn’t want any parts of me. Thames & Kosmos has the perfect science activity kits that allow kids her age to have fun and create while engaging in educational activities.