Transitioning back to physical schooling: 5 Major Challenges & How Parents Can Help
- 16 March 2022
With schools now fully open, students are returning to physical schooling. Week on week we are seeing increasing attendance percentage across Oakridge schools as well.
While this is good news, however students are returning from long periods of virtual schooling, and it could take them some time to adjust back to the physical environment. Especially among early year learners, this will be their first experience in a physical school, so the anxiety is even more among parents of this age group.
While schools ensure to provide an easier transition for the children, let’s discuss five major transition challenges that children may face and how parents can navigate and help them.
From attending virtual classes for more than a year to now going back to school can be stressful for young children. Their sleeping & eating patterns have changed. They had the freedom to attend classes from the comfort of their homes. Now they need to get up early, get ready, wear the school uniform, have breakfast, catch the bus, and reach school on time, all this needs more added effort.
Parents must firstly encourage children to attend school regularly, the more frequently they follow the pattern, the more likely they will adjust to it. Rewarding good habits of getting ready on-time can work as an extra incentive to help them fall into the pattern more quickly.
Heading back to school might trigger anxiety about being separated from their families after months of togetherness, especially for younger children. The best way is to help them get more confident about separating from you and being independent. For example, letting the kid do some activity in a room alone for an extended time or letting the child stay with another caregiver. These little things build the foundation to prevent separation anxiety.
You may want to give specific praise for their brave behavior. For example, praise them while they are going to school saying “Great job on going to your school today. I hope you will tell me something fun you did at school when I pick you up in the afternoon.” Spend more time assuring them that they will get the much-needed family time once they are back home or finish their tasks.
While the introverts would want to avoid social interaction after a long gap, the lack of regular in-person contact can also lead to deteriorating the previously attained social progress for even the extroverts.
We can encourage them to engage in skill-building activities. So, enrol them in extracurricular programs like summer camp, leadership camp, etc., other than the academics, to help build socializing while enjoying those little activities. Talk to them and address their issues and concerns. Make them feel confident to move about socially. Stay connected with the teachers and keep a check if your child is doing okay with socializing.
To make the transition easier for students, we at Oakridge, being one of the top international schools in India, provide various opportunities and resources with all kinds of fun activities to engage and bring them in together mode. From pajama party and movie festival to sports fest, visual arts, and baking, lately, the students of Oakridge Gachibowli enjoyed the opportunity to have a great social interaction through these activities. Likewise, all our schools organize these interesting activities to help students with social interaction.
While in virtual learning, there were limited physical activities for the children, in physical classrooms, the process of restoring routines, exposes children to various physical activities and resources. So, the body needs time to get adjust to it. There’s a chance to feel a little exhausted comparatively. In such a scenario, it’s important to maintain regularity and hydrate them well. Give nutritious food to meet their daily requirement of energy levels so that they are not tired.
We can relate to this. It’s been years, we have been working on our laptops and are habituated to typing. If today, we must write, it will be difficult as it is slower and tedious. The same applies to children as well.
At Oakridge International School, we observed some of our students are finding it difficult to write, the reason being the transition. Previously, in the virtual learning scenario, students used to typewrite on their laptops to complete an assignment. In contrast, they are handwriting their assignments in the physical learning scenario.
Parents can be a part of the learning plan and support their child while participating in the process. As parents are the ones who inculcate the habit of writing from their very early age, you can do team activities together and recreate those moments. You and your child can embark upon writing about a particular topic that will help them improve their fine motor skills. For example, you can together take up an interesting writing assignment for fun and whoever wins get a treat. This apart, you can also set aside a little corner in your house, completely devoted to writing. You can use that area to play games and activities that encourage writing such as crossword puzzles and word games that are great especially for little ones.
Being one of the Top IB schools in India, Oakridge International School ensures that students feel homely at their school and doesn’t suffer from any challenges. We put our efforts in making our student’s each day filled with fun so that they go back home with a big smile and come back to the school next day with full of excitement and enthusiasm.
Expert analysis from Preeti Sahu – Shaping Brands and Inspiring Connections