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Back to school for our kids after a pandemic

January 22, 2022 6 min read

The start of the school year can bring mixed emotions for both parents and children. Summer holidays have most likely been spent together with long days by the beach, out in the backyard or away on holidays. 

school girl with school bag

Routines have gone out the window. Work may have paused for parents and play time for kids wouldn't have started and ended with the chiming of school bells.

It is no wonder the return to school can be a challenging time for some.

This year many children aren't simply returning to school after the summer holidays. These children are returning to school after two years of home-school learning and multiple lockdowns during a pandemic. Add this to the mix and it is completely understandable for children and parents to be feeling a mixed bag of emotions.

How are parents of primary school aged children feeling about the start of the 2022 school year?

I asked a select group of parents who happen to be friends 5 questions about how they were feeling. 

Nadia - Mum to Julian starting Grade 1
Erin - Mum to Harvey starting Prep
Lucretia - Mum to Lucius starting Grade 2
Suzy - Mum to Noah starting Prep

What are you most excited about your child returning/starting school?
 
Nadia - I am excited for Julian to progress to grade one with the confidence of him already completing prep, so he won't have to worry about getting used to a new school. It will be familiar and he will be able to focus on his learning and friendships.

Erin - I'm so excited for Harvey to have new experiences and to grow as a little man. 

Suzy - Watching Noah grow and listening to how his day went! 

Lucretia -  I am really excited for Lucius to start his new school and to see him blossom. He loves meeting new friends and enjoys playing sports. His new school is three times the size of his last one which is something that Lucius is excited about. I feel like this new school will be a fresh start for Lucius. The first two years of his school life was homeschooling, which wasn't easy for anyone. I just hope that we never have to return to homeschooling again. 

What is one thing you will miss most about having your child at home?
 
Nadia - I will miss Julian's ongoing conversations about everything, keeping me company and helping me entertain Joshua. Watching him play with his little brother all the time has been so beautiful. 

Erin - I will mostly miss his company and energy. I'll also miss the clever questions that sometimes really stump me! Though I'm sure they'll continue at the end of each day! 

Suzy - One-on-one time and doing the groceries with me.

Lucretia -  I will miss having my buddy with me - although I won't miss the constant 'I'm hungry' or 'I'm bored' - hehe.. 

Are you nervous/worried about anything about your child starting school particularly in this climate?

Nadia - I'm not nervous, just hopeful that this year will be less disruptive for the kids.

Erin - I'm a little nervous for what's to come for all the kids, parents, teachers and staff but I'm grateful we get the chance to start the school year with in person learning. For a while, I worried that wouldn't be possible. As a community, we've shown how resilient we can be, but I do worry about how we will all cope with another disrupted year.

Suzy - Yes a little! Not sure how the year will look for him. 

Lucretia - I am not nervous. By the time school is back Lucius would have had his vaccination and I trust his new school has a safe COVID practice in place. 

What was the most challenging thing about home school learning the past 2 years?

Nadia - The most challenging thing was to give Julian my full attention during homeschooling while also caring for my other kids. It was a challenge but we did it and are more resilient for it.

Erin - We've been lucky enough to avoid this but I take my hat off to every parent who survived this, especially those juggling work at the same time. 

Suzy -The unknown! 

Lucretia -  Although homeschooling was tough and exhausting at times there were some silver linings. The extra time that we had as a family was precious. With regards to Lucius I noticed that when he finally returned to school, he was so excited (the days of 'I don't want to go to school' had gone) and his behaviour had noticeably changed. He now listens to his teacher and wants to learn and participate. The forced time away from school really made him appreciate going to school; which is definitely a blessing, and one that I don't think he would have had, if it hadn't been for the pandemic. 

If you could give your child one piece of advice about starting school what would it be?

Nadia - Be yourself. Every single day. Everything else will come in time.

Erin - Be yourself, always - it's your greatest asset! And don't waste time worrying about what you can't control, enjoy the moment. 

Suzy - Just be yourself and stay strong!

Lucretia - To be kind, feel confident and enjoy school. My school days were some of the best days of my life. I want this for Lucius too. 


How are primary school aged children feeling about the start of the 2022 school year?

I then asked the kids how they were feeling. Watch the video for their responses! 


 

The inspiration behind our animal character Key Chains

girl in styled kids room holding golden retriever dog key chain on her green school bag

Over the years I have had many parents share with me how much our animal Pillowcases are loved by their children. Our characters have helped their children settle to sleep and have offered a little comfort after a bad dream.

As a result our animal character pillowcases have become quite a comfort to their children!

Our pillowcases might be a little big to take in and out of the car on daily adventures such as school! This is what inspired me to design our character Key Chains.

school girl with green school bag holding golden retriever dog keychain

Instead of children hauling pillowcases to and from school, they can simply select their favourite character in the form of a Key Chain and pop it on their school bag to join them on their journey.

Our friendly and supportive animal Key Chains offer a familiar face in those first few weeks of school. Our hardy Key Chains make the perfect addition to a school bag, pencil case or water bottle, helping your young ones through the day while identifying their belongings.

Back to School Bundles to ease the transition

To support children and families with returning to school and to make the transition from home school learning to being back in the class room as easy as possible we have created our Back To School Bundles.

Each Back To School Bundle includes a Pillowcase, Key Chain and Greeting Card.

For night time support, our pillowcases are ready for a little night time chat to debrief on the day or worries ahead.

For daytime, our discrete, yet so full of character animal key chains are the perfect partner to help through the day without anyone knowing. Pop this friendly face onto a school bag, pencil case or lunchbox. Our animal character Key Chains are ready to support whenever needed.

Write a special note of support in our matching greeting cards. Pop the card into a school bag with a message of support or keep framed at home.

back to school bundles

A selection of our Back To School Bundles. View the full range. 


Resources for parents and families

school girl walking out the door to school with pink school bag and quokka key chain

I have gathered a range of resources below if you are looking for some extra reading or support. If you think this post would benefit someone you know and love feel free to share.



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