Empowering and Preparing Parents: Transitioning to School in Fall 2020

In March 2020, concerns from COVID-19 forced students, parents and teachers into remote learning. Many thought it would be temporary. As we now know, that will not be the case. Most of us are approaching Fall 2020 a little confused, a little fearful and more than a little disappointed. As the 2020-2021 school year approaches quickly, the one thing we know for sure is that this school year will be very different.

Consider these tips for helping you and your children transition smoothly and remain as positive as possible:

Focus on Skills. “If there’s one thing you remember, remember that academics are recoverable,” encourages Connie Hanel from Independent Learning Systems. “If we focus on skill-building this year, helping our children learn foundational skills like personal responsibility, then we’re laying the groundwork for future success. Once your child is able to go ‘back to school’, they are going to be ahead of the gate, not because they know specific math content, but because they will have the skillsets that will help them learn quicker and more independently in the future.

Some important skills to emphasize include:

  • Self Direction: Parents can help students use a calendar to manage their day, including the time they have to be in class, do homework, and relax. Click here for a helpful way to tackle work during the school day.
  • Learning and Listening: “Give students a limited number of target-tasks that are non-negotiable,” Connie advises. “Once they have practiced and hopefully mastered these tasks, then they can make changes and refine how they do them.”
  • Identify Target Tasks: Make sure you know what is negotiable and what isn’t. “Check the thermostat of your students and, also, your own – identify what’s truly important, and know what tasks can be moved to another time,” Carol recommends.

For a helpful list of more tips to parent and support your children during this time, as well as additional resources for parents of students with special needs, check out our Parenting Resources page.

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