The 4 R's of Back-to-School

With so much uncertainty surrounding this 2020-2021 school year, the only thing we know for sure is that this school year will look very different than any we have faced before. Whether your child’s school is delaying opening, instituting a remote learning option, reopening, or a hybrid of all three, it’s still important to get ready for a year of learning.


As soon as possible get your family back into a school routine. Even learning that takes place at home should have a set schedule. Go ahead and implement earlier bedtimes and dust off alarm clocks to acclimate everyone’s internal clock. Get the family calendar back out and start jotting down important dates and reminders. Start talking now about care practices like social distancing, handwashing, and mask wearing before in-person learning takes place, especially for the little ones.


“A place for everything and everything in its place” – Benjamin Franklin

You might not need a backpack or lunchbox this year, but create a space for items they’ll need on a daily basis like pencils, paper, chomebooks, and chargers. Even if you have to convert the diningroom table to a work space, everyone should have a quiet place to go to do school work or get on a Zoom call with their teacher. Use baskets and boxes to keep things organized and neat when not in use. Even at school kids are required to keep up with their own things – home should be no different.


Let older kids shoulder more of the responsibility like setting their alarm or fixing their own break-fast and lunch. If you have multiple kids home learning, you may have to stagger breakfast. Prepare snacks, fruits, and veggies in easy to-go grab bags so that even the little ones can grab a snack when they get hungry. Designate “kitchen closed” times so that the refrigerator isn’t a revolving door while kids are at home. Assign age-appropriate tasks for after learning and make sure each chore gets checked off before allowing free time.


Designating a time to gather is even more important once school is back in session. Kids needs time to decompress and reconnect with others. Even for families that are home together during this time, it’s important to spend quality time together as a family. Find at least one night a week to sit down, have dinner, and talk. Don’t be afraid to let the kids pick the meal and the topic. Need help getting the conversation going? Use ice-breaker type questions

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