KCUR: Kansas City Parents, Prepare Your Kids For A School Year Unlike Any Other
By Elle Moxley
Although it’s becoming less and less likely that the school year will start on time and in person in the Kansas City area, parents who want their kids to be educated face-to-face still need to be preparing for an experience that won’t look anything like school did in the spring.
Here’s what experts recommend doing to get your kids ready for the 2020-21 school year.
1) Have your kids practice wearing a mask before the first day of school.
Then it’s time to have your child practice wearing a mask.
“You might start with 30 seconds,” said Gail Robertson, a clinical psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. “You might start with five minutes and keep building that skill over time. Ideally, associate it with something positive. That's even better. Make masks available during playtime for our younger children.”
Robertson said you can talk to both younger and older kids about why wearing a mask at school is important during a pandemic.
And she’s not opposed to rewarding kids by letting them have some screen time on a phone or tablet while they’re learning to wear their mask.
2) Now is the time to get back into a routine.
You know how you usually spend the last few weeks of summer making your kids go to bed when it’s still light outside so they’ll actually wake up on the first day of school? Yeah, don’t skip that this year.
“You might not know every detail, but you know your kids will have to get up early again, you know they’re going to have to get all of their materials ready in the morning,” Robertson said. “If they’re virtually learning, which is a type of going back to school, they’re going to need to set up their computer or tablet.”
She recommends having children practice new parts of the routine, like making sure they have a clean mask to take to school every day.
Robertson said it might be harder to re-establish routines this year because kids have been out of school for so long.
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