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How to help kids prepare for a new school year during coronavirus

Many people are wondering what the new school year will be like with safety precautions. Here are ideas to help you adjust to the possibilities.

Online learning is ending for many kids, and summer is just beginning. Already school administrators are trying to figure out what the next school is going to look like. If kids go back to the physical buildings then things might not be the way it was.

To give your kids a head start for next school year, here are a few tips to help them adjust to the possible safety precautions. Kids already have normal anxiety about meeting their new teachers, friends and schedules. 

Depending on how much kids are seeing other people with face masks, it can be a bit daunting to meet your new teacher through a face mask. Kids rely on teachers for comfort and reassurance and smiles are difficult to see through a face mask. Kids might have to stay six feet apart from their friends. Some kids might have difficulty estimating six feet because they haven't learned how yet. In addition to regular school rules such as use inside voices and walk in the halls, kids will have to learn safety rules. And initially, it could be a lot to remember. 

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Parents can help normalize possible safety precautions that might be in place when school starts. Wearing a mask when you're doing school work can be easy, but moving around might cause the mask to slip. Help your kid problem solve what they might do if their mask falls since they shouldn't touch their face. You can help your child learn to estimate what six feet looks like. You want your kids to get comfortable moving around while wearing masks. 

Even though the mouth can't be seen through face masks, you can teach your kids to focus on the eyes and eye brows. When someone is smiling, the corners of the eyes squint and the eyes get smaller. Point out what the eyebrows do when a teacher might give a serious look. The eyebrows could straighten or furrow. 

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