Building the Back-to-School Spirit Amid Uncertainty

This year’s back-to-school to-do lists likely include more than equipping the kids with new clothes, crayons and backpacks. #COVID-19 — and in particular, its highly contagious #Delta variant — has brought new uncertainties to reentry.

Parents must navigate mask mandates and consider the level of risk their children face in returning to in-person classes. One vaccine is approved for use in children 12 and up in the U.S., and availability may expand to all school-aged children in the next few months.

Until the #coronavirus is conquered, it may be difficult for parents and students alike to be enthused or unworried about the start of school. But there are some strategies you can follow to ease kids back into the swing.

The New York Times suggests returning to a regular school-year routine that includes regular bed and wakeup times, as well as consistent mealtimes. For grade-schoolers, a ban on screens starting an hour prior to bedtime can help establish a rhythm.

Outings such as hikes and picnics can help everyone cope with the transition back to in-person activity after a year-and-a-half of restrictions. Decide how much risk is acceptable when it comes to kids’ participation in sports and other activities, especially those held indoors.

Families may want kids to avoid “high-breath” activities held in close quarters such as choir, band or wrestling, for example. Follow the recommended safety precautions and try to emphasize what kids can do as they return to classrooms, CNN says — not what they can’t.

Students may not need as many new clothes if some of their classes are held remotely, but they may need new laptops and tablets to pursue their virtual lessons effectively. Shop retailers’ many back-to-school sales for the best deals.

Anything that won’t get used this year — stuff such as too-small clothing, last-generation phones and laptops, and equipment for the sport no one in the family plays — can be donated to ClothingDonations.org.

Sort out all of that that extra stuff, put it in bags and boxes, and leave in a designated location on the scheduled day for #contactless #pickup. You’ll be glad you have the room for all of the new stuff that every new school year seems to bring in.

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