With most students learning at home because of the pandemic, we find ourselves with a back to school season like no other. Here are some tips to help make the process go more smoothly for everyone involved.
- Communicate – Host parents and au pairs need to communicate regularly about who is handling which tasks and how things are going. It may take some trial and error to find the best plan for your situation.
- Keep Expectations Reasonable – Most au pairs are not trained as teachers and just as this is new to parents, it is also new to them. Keep expectations reasonable. Au pairs should not be solely responsible for children’s virtual schooling.
Designate a School Area – It is important to set up an area where school takes place. If it is a multipurpose space like the kitchen table, create a simple setup that you can remove and replace when school is in session. This would include school supplies, laptop/tablet, and books. Store these items in a basket or bin nearby, to make the switch easy.
- Create a Routine for Children – Even though it’s tempting to be more relaxed with school at home, it’s best to stick to familiar routines (breakfast, getting dressed, etc.) This will help now and also when they have to return to traditional school in the future. Keep their school schedule posted, so they know what to expect and when breaks are coming up.
- Make Time for Fun – While school is very important, so is mental health. Outside of school time try to offer lots of opportunities for free play and being outdoors. If kids miss talking to their friends consider arranging virtual playdates, so they can connect outside of school time.
Living in a pandemic affects us all differently. Be kind to each other and yourself. We are all doing the best we can, in this strange time. Things won’t always go as planned, but by supporting each other we will make it through.