Suggestions on handling school closure:

1. Set a schedule and establish routines: Routines and structure in the classroom provide a sense of safety and security, it helps students know what is coming which keeps them calm and in control of their day. Just as parents have established dinner times, bedtimes, and play times, it is important to set a schedule for the day now that the children are home. 


2. Normalize the day:  Set up a wake-up time and a breakfast time. Encourage your child to dress in school clothes instead of staying in their pajamas. This simple act will help normalize a non-normal situation.  Set up a workspace that is away from distractions and


where all material is kept for each child. Have a set time for schoolwork (start and finish). As many of you may be working from home, set up at a scheduled Lunch Time.  This will give the household an opportunity to reconvene together as a family and discuss the plans for the afternoon.


3. Reach out if you have any questions. Encourage your child to take the initiative with their work and reach out to their teacher with questions. This is a great opportunity to nurture some independence. 


4. Breaks/Balance: During your child’s learning day, schedule breaks/recess between subjects. Children are familiar with these in school. Consider having them use Go Noodle or to have a timed run-around break outside. Fresh air and sunshine refreshes their stamina and learning power.  


5. Connect with friends: Provide your child time to virtually interact with their classmates. Sharing their work is a great way to reinforce their efforts and check in with each other but, more importantly, to give them time to chat and laugh with their friends.  Make sure they know you are there but so are their friends. Consider reaching out to the child that no one will reach out to. No one should feel alone during these homebound days. 


*Important note:  Although, we want students to maintain communication, please be mindful of the amount of screentime your child is utilizing.  Inform your child that you will check their online group chats at your leisure. Perhaps, schedule blocked amounts of social media/screen time per day.


6. Here is a simple way to explain the COVID-19 for you to share with your child: https://www.flipsnack.com/KeshetChicago/coronavirus-social-story/full-view.html 


7. Alone Time.  Allow for both yourself and your children to have alone time.  This is an important part of self care. Perhaps, schedule some into your daily routine. 


7. Comfort your child that this is not forever. Enjoy the time you have together because this will all be over soon enough.  Utilize free mindfulness exercises at www.gonoodle.com   

http://www.just-a-minute.org/jamworks/kids.jsp

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/meditation-apps-for-kids


Have fun together – read, bake, play a board game, watch some good TV, talk, listen to music, dance, exercise and be grateful!


8. Utilize these free online resources. https://funinfirst.com/ 


Please know we are here for you with anything you need.  We are in this together! 


Amy Byrnes
abyrnes@sbpsnj.org
201-843-8664 ext.5250