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How to help your children navigate the changing school year

Changes depend on where your child goes to school

DETROIT – This school year has been full of many ups and downs for students.

Some students are learning completely virtually while others are back in the classroom. The rest are doing a combination of online and in-person learning.

Lisa Collum is an author and education expert. She is a mother of four children. Her youngest child is 4 years old and her oldest is 13 years old. Two of her children are in school and the other two are learning virtually.

“I’ve learned that all my kids are different and even my two that are working from home -- I do think differently. I have one that is fine sitting in one area most of the day,” Collum said. “But I have another that has to move the entire day and I have to keep checking on him.”

Collum is an education expert who has been coaching parents on how to help their children navigate all the changes of the school year. Recently, there have been a lot of changes. Mostly dictated by where you live and where your children go to school.

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“It’s a really difficult time for everyone because depending on your state it can be a combination of hybrid. We have a lot of states that are working from home. And then we have some states that are virtual. And so it’s an adjustment for everyone, teachers, parents and students,” Collum said.

Collum said the first step is figuring out what truly works best for your child’s personality.

“I always remind parents, don’t expect the same thing from all your kids. One schedule may not work for everybody or one routine may not work for everyone. We have to remember that because everyone’s different and different in the way that they work,” Collum said.

Even as schools begin to open up and offer more in-person options experts think about what’s a good fit for your family.

“We really have to talk to our kids and communicate with our teachers. Because you know there are a lot of schools that have the option and if your child and virtuals not working, maybe they need to go into school -- or maybe they need more one-on-one. Things like that. So, it’s just a lot of communicating and I know we’re used to that but just more than ever and really talking to our kids to find out why they’re struggling,” Collum said.

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Experts said you should be thinking about ways to get your children re-energized. Children are getting burned out from working at home. Find ways to get them moving during the day and change up the environment. Collum also encourages parents to plan field trips.

Experts said making and sticking to a schedule is key. Especially now as some students head back to the classroom after many months of virtual learning.

Experts said even though you may not be seeing them face-to-face try to stay connected to your child’s teacher as much as possible and brainstorm ways you can work together to make sure your children can be as successful as possible.


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