A healthy start to the school year

Whether your school district is opening in a remote learning model or with a hybrid plan for both online learning and some in-person learning, one thing is for sure: something is bound to go wrong at least once.

The technology won’t work. Or maybe it will, but you and your child will forget how to use it. Your internet service will flicker for no reason. You won’t have all the information you need at the time you need it. The kids will be stressed. The teachers will be stressed. You will be stressed.

It’s okay. Focus on showing your kids how to manage that stress and be flexible and generous through a difficult moment. Tell them how proud you are that they are strong enough to do hard things. The bugs will get worked out. And in the meantime, the kids will learn resilience and how to overcome challenges.

Start the school year right

Here are some things we can do to help the kids get the school year off to a good start:

  • Structure. Set up a fun place for them to learn. Even if it’s just the kitchen table, find a way to make it special for school. Maybe they can color a special learning placemat to set the stage. Set up a schedule for each day, with predictable mealtimes, snack times, family time, outside time, learning time, and fun play time.
  • Sleep. For kids who haven’t had a bedtime or wake-up time since March, the start of the school year means it’s time to start revisiting some bedtime structure. Like all of us, kids will sleep better with a regular, calming bedtime routine, and if there are no screens in their rooms.
  • Healthy, nurturing foods. The kids can help plan what healthy foods they would like for meals and snacks. Make sure to offer a fruit or vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate at each meal to power them through.
  • Exercise. Exercise will help with almost everything. Nerves, too much energy, nothing to do. Exercise is good for the brain, and helps with learning and managing our emotions. And with enough exercise, they just might sleep and get hungry enough to eat those vegetables you put in front of them.

And if all else fails, read to them. Cuddle. Tell them how proud you are of them.

Practice compassion

Connection with loved ones will help you and your kids stay grounded. Just a phone call or FaceTime chat can make a big difference.

More information

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.

Information in this blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact our the Department of Health call center at 1–800–525–0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday — Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday — Sunday. Language assistance is available.

Please note that this call center cannot access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.

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Washington State Department of Health

Washington State Department of Health

Protecting and improving the health of people in Washington State.