Supporting Kids Going Back to School in 2021

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(5 minute read)

As the start of the school year across the US approaches in August and September, families are feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. When schools reopened back to in person school during the spring of 2021, surveys of teachers and students revealed that overall, everyone was happy to be back. But at the same time, 91% of teachers reported that returning to school came with some degree of difficulty for students. Students were more excited to be in school than before the pandemic, but 69% returned with less ability to participate in group activities, 60% returned with less attention span, and 44% returned with less motivation to learn.

Luckily, like many other economic and social effects of social distancing, these outcomes do not have to become permanent. Working together with schools and students, there are simple things parents and families can do at home to make the 2021-2022 school year a success. Here are some of the recommendations circulating from experts.

Stay Grateful and Encouraging

Right now, everyone is preoccupied with the idea of a “learning gap” and that kids have missed out in ways they will never recover from. But don’t forget the fact that summer learning loss happens every year. A survey of grades 1-6 over 5 summers revealed that students lose as much as 40% of what they learned during the school year every summer.

While your child may need additional support in the short-term, in the long-term they are remarkable and will recover. And the events of 2020 have taught us all lessons of resilience, community, and emotional strength that cannot be learned in a classroom. This includes our children! Start the school year with kids by framing your gratitude together for how hard you worked to get to this point, and excitement about the opportunities ahead.

Focus on Relationships and Emotional Regulation

Depending on the events and state of the pandemic in your area, the kids in your life are going to go through a wide range of emotions this school year going back to school in person. Fear, grief, excitement, joy, confusion, and frustration—these are hard enough to cope with as an adult, but for kids, these emotions can literally be paralyzing. Supporting your child through coping with and growing through these emotions is far more important than one year’s letter grade.

And remember, you are not in it alone. Stay in close touch with teachers, coaches, and the parents of your child’s friends to ensure they are surrounded by strong, supportive relationships. “The presence and quality of our relationships may have more impact on learning and development than any other factor,” wrote the Science and Learning Development Alliance in a May 2020 report. “Positive relationships—supportive families, an involved teacher, a caring coach—serve as the foundation for children’s ability to adapt, establish good emotional health, foster social connections, and build the complex neural processes that make us resilient and effective learners.”

Here is a list of resources for helping kids cope with anxiety, anger, depression, and more.

Set Goals and Avoid Surprises

Academically speaking, you can motivate kids this year in a number of ways. First, set some goals and define exactly what the reward will be when they are achieved. Will there be a small reward every time they practice spelling words? Or a big one at the end of the unit? Agree on this with your child together. Pick process-oriented goals, like studying for a certain amount of time, over outcome-oriented goals like getting a certain grade. This way, the goals are reinforcing factors and behaviors your child can control each day and make them feel more empowered to succeed at assignments.

At the same time, talk about a plan for when things get off-track. Knowing in advance how they will be able to move forward and recover from a mistake like a missed assignment will help children not be overwhelmed or fearful when the moment comes. Help them understand that done is better than perfect, and that turning in something is always better than turning in nothing.

Additionally, don’t surprise kids with questions about school, because this inspires fear and makes academic performance a source of criticism. Instead, agree on times you will talk about how school is going each day. Setting these boundaries sets up the conversations to be more productive and prevent spill over into other family time, even when things aren’t going well. During those conversations, validate their feelings and challenges even as you give guidance or set new goals.

Overall, setting up the kids in your life for success this school year requires communication and empathy for what they are going through. Listen to their anxieties and worries and brainstorm incentives to reward approaching their challenges with discipline and consistency. Yes, it’s important to learn the materials in the textbooks and tests, but social and emotional learning is even more important for kids to thrive as adults. Communicate with others in your child’s life to be sure they are supported in all their areas of learning this year and beyond.

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *