What we know for certain about schools reopening is that we really do not know much at all.
There have been talks and plans about reopening schools for some years but until that time comes and the situation is reassessed we’re not sure about what is going to happen.
What we do know is that we are at home 24/7 with our children when we haven’t been otherwise for this amount of time, under these circumstances.
And sending our children back to unknown conditions of the outside world can seem daunting.
So firstly I would like to congratulate every parent out there that is looking after their children, you are honestly doing a brilliant job.
Your child is alive and well, you are looking after another human(s) and catering to their needs is no easy feat.
As parents our main role is to look after and nurture our children, to make them feel loved and safe.
We teach them by setting ourselves up as the example we want them to learn from, we teach them to learn how to feed themselves, how to put on their clothes and how to look after themselves.
‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’s are introduced at home and reminded in schools.
The parent is the first teacher of the child and although they are not responsible of introducing and teaching the Education Curriculum to their children, children learn a lot from us, and I mean A LOT.
This pandemic has affected the whole world and schools being closed nationwide means everyone is in the same situation.
Some schools may provide more resources and work for children but not all schools have.
Some children are doing homework provided by schools everyday whereas others have been given nothing more that a few activity sheets and an online website with their password on the last day of school and nothing more.
What does this mean? Are some children going to come out much further ahead than other children? Are some children going to fall behind a year? Will children forget everything they’ve learnt?
Stop. Take a deep breath. And Relax.
As long as your children are fine in their homes, once it is ok to come out I can assure you they will be fine in the outside world.
Some children have had to deal with a loss of a loved one, some are experiencing social distancing from those they are living with, and they are all not able to see, hug, hold and play with those they did on a daily basis because of a virus they cannot see.
They may have heard your explanation of what is going but have they fully understood?
Because of conflicting information, as adults we are finding many things confusing so it must be so much harder for children to comprehend what is going on.
As parents it is our duty to look after the well being of our children, to try and reduce the impact of the trauma they may have had to face, to help them feel safe and happy, and the rest will fall into place.
Every school is aware of the adjustments they will need to make, to accommodate the changes that have taken place.
We tend to forget the resilience children already possess.
If a three year old who is at home all the time with their parents, who may have just been potty-trained, may have never understood letters and numbers and their meaning, has to adjust to an unknown environment around unknown people for a large part of their day, five times a week, then what ever our children need to face, it may take a while but they’ll adjust all the same.
So what can we do at home with them?
Firstly as with ourselves maintain a routine, children crave and thrive in a routine.
They may not need to wake up as early as they did when going school but a healthy routine is essential to keeping a healthy and sane mind.
Make a timetable with them, ask them what they like doing, what they would like to do and explain the importance of tasks which they not want to do but need to do.
The beginning of the day could start of with Joe Wick’s PE lesson https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1/videos
Exercise is so important especially with the energy young people have, but don’t just put it on for them do it with them.
Make sure they are aware of and fulfil the responsibilities they have around the house, this can help them help you, but also make them feel like they have an important role in the house.
Talk to them, children are the biggest resource in the class and most of the time they can dictate how a lesson is run, they might share an experience or ask a question that can direct a whole lesson plan.
So let them talk, enquire, observe and you can do your best to answer all their questions but in this day and age we have the world’s information at our fingertips, so help them find out.
Let them help at meal times, I believe cooking is an important life skill we all must learn, and creating a meal from simple ingredients can be a magical experience for them.
At the same time they are introduced to math and science with the measuring and adding and mixing different ingredients together.
Read to them, read with them and let them read to you. As well as improving language reading is one of the best forms of escapism, an opportunity for children to connect to their creativity.
There are many resources available online BBC Bitesize have set up daily lessons for children of all years, https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize.
Anything else you feel your children need help with you can easily search up the content online and there will be many options available to you for your children to do online or to print out.
Plan the day around them, in order for them to make sense of it, own it and manage it the way they will need to at school.
They will get through this as will you.
Reflect. Love. Heal.