With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing throughout the country, many schools are taking the necessary precautions to do what they can to reopen their doors to students. About 75% of U.S. schools are public and 25% are private, and the precautionary decisions of each school vary. Some schools and universities are continuing to teach completely online while others are giving students the option to choose between online and in-person learning.
While online learning may not give your child the traditional learning experience they want, limiting in-person learning as much as possible is important for everyone’s health. According to the CDC, between 2,000 and 10,000 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per day are expected to occur by September 14, and already one-third of American families struggle to pay medical bills.
If your child is starting their next school year from home, you may be wondering what you can do to make the year better and more fun for them. After all, they won’t have their friends to make classes entertaining and back-to-school clothes don’t have the same appeal when there are no classmates to impress. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make your child’s online learning back-to-school experience just a little more special.
Take their ‘first day of school’ photo
If it’s a family tradition to take your child’s first day of school photo, keep up the tradition. Your child’s classes may be online, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to remember their first day. Create a poster or sign with the grade your child is going into on it and have your child can hold the sign for the photo outside. Even if the school day is unconventional, it gives your child a special moment to remember.
Check out these “First Day of School” photo frame ideas!
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Personalize your child’s desk
One of the best parts about back to school is entering a new classroom that’s decked out for the new school year. Nothing beats the smell of new crayons and the feeling of opening a new notebook or agenda. Give your child that same experience by personalizing their desk area with some new materials and decor to really give that feeling of a fresh start to a new year.
Set up fun after-school activities
When your child is using virtual learning, it can be challenging for them to have a sense of separation between school and home. A great way to establish that balance is by setting up fun after-school activities like going to the park, walking around the neighborhood, and playing outside.
If your child is the type who prefers to play online games like Minecraft, which sold over 200 million copies as of May this year, for fun, be sure that they take a break outdoors to get some vitamin D before they get to gaming. Taking an outdoor break between “school” and home will help your child relax and unwind.
Ask your child what they learned over dinner
Your child may be learning online, but they’re still learning. Over family dinner, ask your child to share their favorite thing they’ve created that week or their favorite topic to have learned about. If your child is on the younger side, they can use this time for show-and-tell and show the family their favorite artwork or toy.