Whitefield Academy Blog
5 Tips for Going Back-to-School in a Pandemic
Whether you’re googling “can I wear a mask into a bank,” “does hand sanitizer explode in a hot car,” or “in-person schools in Kansas City,” it’s pretty clear that this semester is going to be different than any other before it.
At Whitefield Academy in Kansas City, today marks our first day of in-person school since the beginning of March. A lot is the same, but many things are different, and different can sometimes be difficult for kids. So here is our list of the top five things that you can do to make sure your students are prepared for in-person school this year.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Man, if you want to talk about hard times, let’s talk about the early church! But here in Thessalonians they are called to “rejoice,” “pray,” and “give thanks”! What excellent advice for us today! Our family found that we were always kicking ourselves because we couldn’t get in any kind of routine in the morning that included prayer. One day, however, we realized that every morning we had to stop at the same red light on the way to school. We decided to call it our “prayer light,” and with the help of our kids reminding us, we pray for our school day every morning at that light. It’s helps to settle our hearts for the day ahead.
Check Your Attitude
Ever yelled at your kids for yelling? Or maybe seen your kiddo struggle with the exact same habit you’ve tried unsuccessfully to stop for years? Our children copy us like little parrots, for good or bad. We have to remember that whatever attitude we have about masks, restrictions, or changes in our routines, our kiddos are going to copy those. So if we want happy attitudes underneath those masks or while kids are getting their temperatures taken, we have to model that for them in other areas of our life. Resist the urge to complain when we mask up for the grocery store or the doctor’s office, cut the whining about our favorite restaurant being closed, and watch the mockery of the changing orders from different authorities. Modeling positive attitudes will help our kids embrace the crazy.
This year is going to be weird no matter what you are doing for school, so, much like the hyenas in the Lion King, you and your kids need to be prepared. Try to think through your day and prep your kids for anything that might be different than what they are used to. Things like temperature checks, water bottles instead of water fountains, eating lunch outside the cafeteria, and stairs designated for up and down are going to be brand new. Acting these situations out with younger kids or talking through them with older kids will help avoid the scary newness of it all.
Make it Normal
With all the changes and the stress of the “new normal,” it’s tempting to forget things we would have done pre-COVID. If you have back-to-school traditions, do them! Do the fun breakfast. Take the front porch photos. Make extra time to grab donuts in the morning or a slushie after school. And you should probably go ahead and resew the hem on your daughter’s jumper that you stapled last year. School’s happening, lady!
Make the “New Normal” Normal
While no one likes the changes, it’s ok to have fun with them while they are here! You can let your kids personalize their masks with things that are easily washable like iron-on patches. Look how fun these space patches are! While sports at Whitefield are still happening, many school have had to cancel theirs. So you might want to help your student find an individual sport they can do like rowing, biking, running, or even good old tennis up against the garage door. In our downtime this summer, we’ve enjoyed starting some new kid-friendly podcasts like Story Pirates and finding some new soundtracks to listen to (Muppets Most Wanted is a fav in this house).
Teachers and school staff have never worked harder than they have over the last six months. If your kids are going to in-person school, know that they will be well-loved and well-cared for. So here’s to a NEW new school year!
A few spots still remain for our 2020/2021 in-person school year! Click the link below to see our enrollment process.
So well written and good thoughts, Rachel! Thanks!