The school year is starting again and parents are getting their kids ready for the new school year with many questions still lingering as we hope to exit Covid-19 and pandemic life.

What will school and education look like? We wish we knew! This is a time of great flux for both the world and the education system with no clear path as to what will come next, particularly in primary through secondary learning delivery.

Locally in Ontario, the provincial government’s strategy was highly inconsistent over the course of the pandemic, and confusing to families. Reinventing the schedules and delivery models instead of keeping them stable with a simple transition to an online model was a great source of frustration, stress and instability for families…and we may be in for similarly complex delivery of education for the beginning of the 2021 school year as the government has just released their back-to-school plans with no provisions for outbreaks.

What’s Your Family Planning Strategy for the School Year?

In order to keep up with the demands of their schedule, many parents have found that they need to start planning their family education goals for the school year. 

If things look to still be in flux towards the end of the summer, it may be best to choose the options that are most stable for the overall family schedule in the short and medium term to minimize stress and keep family life stable.

How to Get Kids Ready for School

Whether it’s the next wave of COVID or another pandemic entirely, you’ll want to be prepared. While this seems like the last thing you want to be discussing with your family, the truth of the matter is that this is the third SARS virus event we have had in the last 20 years which suggests that we will be having more again, and sooner rather than later.

Normalizing this possibility will help create mental preparation within your family to help limit the stress factor. Knowing you have a game plan in place to deal with lockdowns, school outbreaks, or symptoms will help reassure your kids that if and when it should happen again, you are prepared to deal with it. 

Knowing that school is meant to be in person, but might be online from time to time or for long stretches makes for a reasonable set of expectations for your kids, and lessens the likelihood of negative impacts later due to major change in short periods of time.

3 Steps to Get Your Kid’s School Supplies and Gear for the Upcoming School Year in a Pandemic World

The world has changed, and the way families need to handle school supplies and gear for their kids has to change with it. Here are 3 steps to help your family get ready for the upcoming school year in a pandemic world.

  • Step 1: Create a list of what your child needs for their first day and on an ongoing basis. Include back-up PPE for keeping at school in case things get forgotten at home, run out, or get lost!
  • Step 2: Figure out what items you can purchase online now that will not arrive on time if ordered later. Beat the rush!
  • Step 3: Figure out which items need to be bought at brick-and-mortar stores and prioritize those for purchase at least three weeks before the start of school.

With all of these things in mind, you’ll be ready to take on the safest back-to-school season ever!

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