Tips for supporting those transitioning back to school:
1. Plan for a transition well before it occurs.
Talk about the differences with this school year well in advance. By communicating about these changes prior to them occurring, it allows extra time for processing and understanding.
2. Make the transition visual with a schedule
Schedules are a great visual tool to help make time and changes more tangible. Show that school will begin by placing a picture of the school on a calendar and crossing off the days until it arrives. If school is virtual, you can use a task schedule to help students stay focused and visually grasp each individual task.
3. Utilize social stories
Social stories can be used as a visual preview to new or unfamiliar experiences. Often, they also highlight potential feelings that may occur during these new experiences. There are a variety of great social stories available here.
4. Read picture books
Picture books are a great tool to make abstract ideas more concrete through simple words and images. This resource has many free books about varying topics for all ages that can be viewed online or printed and read.
5. Role play and model
School may look very different this year than in previous years. If masks are required, model the use of a mask yourself or use their favorite stuffed animal. Act out some of the differences that may occur, allowing them to make sense of the changes in a comfortable environment through this role play.