Back to School: How to help make transition back to in-person learning easier for kids

MIAMI VALLEY — Thousands of kids in the Miami Valley headed back to class this week after spending so much time at home and away from school last year.

News Center 7′s John Bedell talked to a local superintendent and a child psychologist about how districts and parents can help make the transition easier for their kids as they witch back to in-person learning.

Miamisburg City Schools was one of the districts in the Miami Valley that started their new school year Monday.

Superintendent, Dr. Laura Blessing, emphasizes how important good behavior in the classroom is for a productive learning environment.

“Good behavior looks differently depending on the age of the student, but obviously we want our students to be engaged. We want them to feel comfortable and we know that when they are focused and ready to go it does make a difference for them and for the entire classroom,” Dr. Blessing said.

After so much time away from the classroom last year and learning at home, Blessing explained how they will handle the potential challenge of kids re-learning how to learn in person.

“Obviously, the first six weeks of school is kind of a re-learning whether you were at home learning or you were with us. Miamisburg was in school 140 days last year full-time. But at the beginning of the year, we always do kind of a refresh, you know you’ve been on summer break. So the teachers will be building those review models in but also forging forward with new content,” Blessing said.

Dr. Zach Woessner, a child psychologist at Dayton Children’s Hospital, says the new school year will be a challenge for kids not just academically, but socially too after so much time away from school in the last year.

“But the great thing about kids is that they’re resilient. And so a lot of them will maybe struggle a little bit but then bounce right back into the groove of school and social interaction,” Woessner said.

Woessner offered advice on what parents can do at home to help their kids with the transition into a new school year.

“Establishing really good routines is really critical leading up to those first days of school. So getting good sleep habits again if we could get back into that. Going to bed at a decent time, waking up earlier trying to get into those routines. Trying to get into good eating routines as well, getting good nutrition in there. Scheduling things throughout the day. And just having an outlet for them to talk to so they can validate any thoughts or feelings these kids might be having as they’re going back,” Woessner said.

Weossner also says that while anxiety is normal this time of year for kids going back to school, be on the lookout for signs that their anxiety is getting to be too much.

He says examples are lack of sleep, irritability, or behavioral outbursts, and even refusing to go to school.