Wow, last year was definitely for the books depending on where you live in the world! 2020 meant you young guys likely experienced weeks or even months of homeschooling!
But whoever saw that coming? By the way, you are not alone, but even the adults like me were working from home. And this is for parents! Are you worried about how the school year ahead might pan out, and how to help your children be prepared?
We have been on high alert for almost one year now, thanks to COVID-19, and worried about our health as well as our mental wellbeing. Regardless of what the year 2020 was like for you and for your children, since nobody was unaffected.
And even though the new year often signifies a fresh start, it’s important to be aware of something called the “anniversary effect”, where unsettling thoughts feeling occur on the anniversary of a significant experience.
Given the fact that the school year experience was interrupted quite early in 2020 for most children in the world, and the concern that it will happen again may be present and real for children in most parts of the world at this time of the year.
Plus there is also simply the fact that what was a different and even trying school year for many children world over, they have hopefully gone on to enjoy relatively carefree school holidays.
However, wrangling them back to school uniform and back into schoolwork again to start the new school year in will be more of a challenge in 2021 than usual.
When it comes to recognizing your children may be more worried than usual about the new school year, watch out for changes in their behavior. Rather than verbalizing what they’re feeling or concerned about, children often express themselves behaviorally when they’re worried or anxious.
For example, they might get upset or angry more often or more easily than usual, or you may notice they’re reluctant, or even unwilling, to try new things. The signs can also be physical.
There is no way of predicting exactly how the school year will unfold, but there are ways to set your kids up for a successful learning experience. I will suggest trying these three things
Focus on what they are good at- Children tend to think they have to be good at everything and if they’re not, they’re not smart. As adults, we know that’s not true, so rather than putting the emphasis on the areas that kids struggle and with and trying to fix that zero in on what they do better so focus on that.
Use their strength to advantage- Once you have identified your child’s learning strengths, use them to help broaden their horizons. For example, they might love reading and engage with stories and tales.
By sharing stories about famous scientists and amazing discoveries, you might inspire them to want to learn more about science. When you start with what they’re good at, they become inspired because early success breeds success.
Encourage passion projects- Your kids need you to be parents, and parents’ job is to help them feel inspired by the life and empowered by their own smarts and ability to learn new things. Ask them what they want to learn about, and regardless of whether that’s dinosaurs or how to make authentic pizza help make that happen for them.