Be okay with academic imperfections.
Due to the major learning disruptions over the past year, some students will return with major gaps in their education, said Dr. Bode, and it will take time to catch up.
Rather than focusing on the expectation that the kids will be class level, the tone for teachers and parents should be, “This may be something you missed, we just need to work on it together.”
It is reasonable for parents to worry that a child missed too much during distance learning, said Dr. Erkoboni. “I’ve had many families who decided to hold their child back for a year.” But whenever possible, it’s best to keep the kids in class and trust the teachers to help them make up ground, she advised. “The resounding voice that we hear from educators and that we repeat in the clinic is that the teachers are armed and ready.”
On the other hand, according to Dr. Erkoboni continues, be it time to seek additional support if you find that your child is really struggling to catch up and is unable to meet certain expectations. “Call your pediatrician,” she said, who can advise you on possible next steps. “We can often involve families in further evaluations or behavioral therapies.”
Aug 17, 2021, 10:20 a.m. ET
Safely reintroduce social activities.
“Most of my patients who were virtual last year had a really rough year,” said Dr. Shriver. “They did not study well, they were lonely, most of them did not have any outdoor activities such as sports,” and many of these children had physical and mental problems.
While the weather is still warm, summer activities and outings with friends – walks, picnics, ball games in the park – can help re-introduce children to group activities and ease the tension of returning to the classroom.
Of course, these activities should only be done if they can be done safely and best outdoors. Pay attention to the local transmission rates, decide what risk and what connection your family is comfortable with (e.g. on safety protocols. That means practicing outdoors, keeping your distance if possible, and wearing masks when they are close together are.