Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced this week that public and private K-12 schools will stay closed through the end of the 2019–2020 school year. Although schools are closed from providing traditional in-person instruction, education will continue. The school districts are working to maintain connections with students and families and provide learning materials and supports over the phone, though email, through printed learning materials, and by using online platforms.
This is a big disruption for our kids! It’s totally normal for kids to have multiple and mixed emotions right now. They may miss their friends. They may be sad to miss anticipated milestones, field trips, or projects. They may worry about how this time will affect their future education. They may revel in the release from the structure of the school day or they may struggle to adjust to this new routine. And different kids will need differing types of support to best take advantage of the learning opportunities offered by their school.
Here are some tips that may help you and your child navigate this stressful time:
Remember that our kids are watching us to understand their own reactions. Take this opportunity to teach them about empathy and compassion. Remind them of a time they felt sick. What was that like? What helped them feel better? What can they do to help someone who is sick?