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How to Survive a Virtual Back-to-School Year

Many of us are scrambling to prepare for a school year that will be starting virtually. If you’re a working parent, you may be wondering how you’re going to juggle work and have your kids at home, attending school.

Here are some tips to help you and your family survive this unprecedented back-to-school season.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

People often say that “it takes a village to raise a child.” There’s a lot of truth in this statement. If you’re lucky enough to have an available family member or friend, ask if they can help if you need it. Areas that someone could help may include in-person or virtual tutoring, coming over for a few hours, or offering a listening ear and guidance for you or your kids.

Start establishing routines now.

For many families, routines have fallen by the wayside over months of stay-at-home orders and no school. Although schools will be starting virtually, many schools will have a more structured schedule than their distant learning schedule from last school year. If your kids have gotten used to staying up late and sleeping in, it may be good to get them used to the sleep schedule that you’d like them to have once school starts.

Set clear expectations with your kids.

One advantage that you have going into this school year versus the end of last school year is that you and your kids are likely to have already been through this once. During the previous school year, most of us got thrown into distance learning with no warning.  Take time to evaluate what worked, and what didn’t, and try to think of ways that you can help make this school year even better.  Be sure to set clear expectations with your kids.

Create a dedicated workspace.

If possible, give your kids a dedicated workspace where they can attend online classes and do their homework. This may be a corner of their bedrooms or an area in the living room.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

When you feel yourself getting stressed, take a moment and try to relax. Try to avoid obsessing over the things that you cannot control, and that may bring you down. As you navigate through this season, try not to criticize yourself or others. And perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to be thankful for even the smallest things. A grateful attitude can help you feel happier and help your kids appreciate what they have.