Help Your Kids Handle The Return To School

Help Your Kids Handle The Return To School

Posted: 2020-09-14 10:52:15 By: thebay

As one meme so aptly noted: The end of the longest March Break in history is here!

Well, at least in principle. Technically school started the day after Labour Day, but with the staggered start to the school year, the first full week of school for children doesn’t begin until Monday, Sept. 21.

After the one day return based on surnames (the O’s were Thursday along with surrounding names), there is a three-day week taking place – again separated by surnames – taking place from Sept. 14 through Sept. 18. However, all children will be attending school together on Friday, Sept. 18.

It’s a tough time for both parents – many of whom struggled to even choose to send their kids to school – and teachers, who have a bevy of added responsibilities and stress this year.

And, despite the excitement of finally seeing their classmates and teachers again, it’s a scary time for many students as well. Many have been isolated with only their family for months, while others may not have played with another kid since March (which is a real shame).

They, like the rest of us, have been inundated with the ever-changing rules and information regarding COVID-19 and the ongoing worldwide pandemic.

It’s safe to say there will be more than a bit of anxiety, stress and fear for many students as they return to school and learn the new rules and regulations they’re required to follow. The more adaptable will be okay (other than being annoyed because they’re restricted to their cohort), while other children will need extra support to overcome these changes to their school lives.

So, here are a few expert tips from for parents to help their children navigate this abnormal new school year (including some for those doing home studies).

  1. Talk to your child about how this school year will be different. Be upfront about the situation and empower your child to make smart choices and do their part to help stop the spread. Things like handwashing, social distancing etiquette, and mask-wearing should be discussed.
  2. Create a learning command center. Spend some time creating a space in your home for your child to study or do homework. If you don't have a spare area, or if you have multiple children who want to work together, create a way to store school supplies in a cart or container that's portable and can be used at the kitchen table or anywhere.
  3. Make face masks fun (and familiar). For those returning to in-person classes, have a mask for every day for your child. Pro tip: make sure kids have an extra mask in a plastic baggie every day just in case something happens to the first one.
  4. Use tech tools to enhance learning. Students who are starting out the first part of their fall semester online may find themself needing some extra help on assignments, and luckily there are plenty of safe online resources they can utilize. Brainly is a social online learning and homework help community that brings all the benefits of in-person study groups into a digital format. is perfect for students needing to look up definitions for vocabulary words, synonyms or antonyms, as well as wanting to expand their personal word bank with a word of the day. myHomework Student Planner is a digital resource where students can input due dates of assignments, homework deadlines, and reminders for almost anything under the sun to help them stay on top of their work and feel confident in class.
  5. Bake in time for social interactions and study breaks. Some students who are starting virtual classes may be feeling a little down about not getting to see their friends, but there are plenty of ways for them to still socialize with their friends. Encourage your kid to incorporate games into their Zoom calls. For example, he or she can use this no-frills Charades Generator to pick a word to act out in front of the camera, then see who in their audience can guess! And during the school day at home, it's important to schedule regular breaks every hour or so.
  6. Meal prep healthy lunches and snacks. Getting organized ahead of schedule makes all the difference in the world. There are tons of online resources for quick, easy, healthy snacks and lunch ideas for kids of all ages (and adults!) such as MealBoardLaLa Lunchbox, or Cozi. Make things easier on yourself by prepping for the coming week on Sundays and having everything conveniently stored and ready-to-go in the fridge to help streamline school days.

Using these tips plus chatting with other parents to see what’s been working (or not working) for them, will help boost children’s confidence and build an atmosphere where they can thrive.


By Chris Occhiuzzi, special to

When Chris isn’t writing stories for, Dockside Publishing or running, you can