Back-to-school season is here and we all know the drill. It’s time to get a fresh set of crayons or maybe a new backpack for the school year ahead — however — this year is going to be a little different. This season is stressful for both parents and children as it is; parents can feel overwhelmed focusing on homework and bedtime schedules, while children may be nervous about an unfamiliar teacher and new routine. But the upcoming school year can feel particularly stressful with concerns of the Coronavirus spreading to our children in packed classrooms. Some parents may be opting for an alternative schooling option this year for the first time ever and some parents may be sending their children back-to-school!
With whatever option you choose, it all feels unfamiliar! We want every parent to feel reassured, no matter what decision they make. In order to do that, we have prepared a back-to-school list with key essentials for every type of back-to-school classroom. Because we sympathize with the unique situations that parents are faced with this school year, the best way that we can respond is by making your transition as smooth as possible. Keeping your child safe and making sure both you and your child feel prepared for a great school year is our priority as a parenting resource!
Home-schooling can be new territory for many parents. The role of an educator can be daunting, but it can also be exciting! You will get to experience your child’s learning style, so you’ll better understand what your child responds to best. If you are going the homeschooling route, it’s best to remember the supply list includes a couple of supplies for yourself to aid in the curriculum creation, such as a printer and calendar poster. Don’t forget the basics, like crayons, blunt-tipped scissors, and kid’s wide-ruled notebooks, it’s everything you would buy for going back to traditional school.
Virtual school may be the most popular alternative this year! Contrary to popular belief, a virtual school can be just as focused on hands-on learning as traditional schools. Prepare your child for both their online lessons and their arts & crafts at home with a dedicated laptop, craft items, and a small erase board. As a note, your child will be at home all day, so it’s smart to invest in washable markers for your little one, in case they mark the walls, table, laptop, or clothes while doing their unplugged activities.
There are a lot of reasons families may have their children going back to a traditional school, such as food insecurity or time/resource constraints. In response, many traditional schools are implementing health and safety measures for students to come back. To have a safe year, remember to get regular testing if this is the method you choose! To take extra precautions, make sure to stock up on portable hand-sanitizers, wet wipes, and triple-layer face masks for kids! Also, as with any other back-to-school season, make sure your child has a backpack that supports their spine and an insulated lunchbox!
Micro school or Learning Pods
Do you know what micro-schools and learning pods are? They are treated as supplemental classrooms or full-time alternative methods for back-to-school in which kids around the same education level gather in small groups, led by volunteer parents, hired teachers, or nannies. This ensures a small level of socialization while offering the opportunity for safe social distancing. Because you will be carrying around your child’s supplies for a short period of time every day, you’ll want to keep everything portable.
Charter or Private School
Charter schools and private schools offer virtual, in-person, and hybrid learning settings. The key essentials for Charter and Private schools depend on how your school’s setting is arranged. So, key essentials for this option would include “fail-safe” items to prevent disruptions in your child’s learning. Make sure to pack a bag of extra clothes for accidents and a smock for art lessons. Facial tissue, erasable highlighters, and index cards are all communal items that are needed throughout the year, independent schools often ask for these donations to support every child’s learning in their programs.
With so many unknowns during this unprecedented time, we understand choosing a back-to-school option can feel discouraging and daunting. Start with the understanding that no two years in your child’s development is the same, even under normal circumstances! In other words, treat back-to-school shopping with the same focus that you had last year to alleviate anxiety — preparation is key. In all back-to-school classrooms, let’s do our best to ensure our children’s safety and encourage the best learning environment this school year.