Preparing for Fall

July 27, 2020, Shirley Rubio Blake

As a parent that likes to plan ahead, I have been asking myself, “What can I plan for fall?”

Many of us don’t have solid answers as far as school, child care, and work goes so it’s difficult to make plans. My husband and I both work and our schedules and work locations have changed due to COVID-19. Our kids’ school and child care are still closed. When will I go back to my office to work? Are our children’s school and preschool going to open up? What will they be like?

My children’s school and preschool/childcare center both communicated they will have more information and a plan around mid-August. So, we have a few weeks until we will receive more information to help us plan for the fall.

But there are things that I am currently working on, and that helps with my wish to plan ahead for the fall.

First, I am rescheduling appointments that were cancelled due to the initial COVID-19 shutdown. This summer there are fewer scheduled activities than past summers which means more availability to schedule dental health checkups and Well Child checkups.

Dental and Well Child checkups are super important for every child regardless of pandemics. Doesn’t every parent want their child to be as healthy as possible?

Well, this is a great time for your child to visit their dentist and pediatrician. Dental and medical offices are taking extra precautions to make sure it’s safe for parents and kids.

Second, I’m looking at my kids’ development. Knowing their developmental milestones helps me support my children in their development or know areas where they need help. This is super important, whether schools are open or not.

The information I learn validates their challenges or needs and assures me as a parent to know what is normal. I am the best advocate for my kids’ needs when I know what to expect in their development.

Checking up on your child’s developmental milestones is easy! When scheduling a Well Child checkup, ask the pediatricians office if they have an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for you to complete. Each ASQ pinpoints developmental progress in children between the ages of one month to 5 ½ years. Parents are the best ones to complete an ASQ because they know their children the best.

There are other sources of development information available. When I was pregnant, I signed up to receive weekly development information specific for each of my children from the Baby Center because I enjoy learning developmental information for each child.

Another resource is the Pollywog Family, where you can find so many great links for information. Vroom is another resource where you can get information and activities based on your child’s age. And the CDC has a great Milestone Tracker app with age-specific information. The American Academy of Pediatrics also has lists of development milestones on their website.

And third, I’m also scheduling my own wellness appointments. It’s super important for me as a mom to be in good health too, both physically and mentally. One thing I did for my mental health was to deactivate my social media accounts.

This has had peaceful outcomes since I am consuming way less media and information, thus I have more headspace to focus on work, my family, and the house projects we are tackling this summer. I am not sure when I will reactivate my accounts but I am enjoying not worrying about it.

Instead of spending time on my social media newsfeeds, I have embarked on my summer reading list and am pretty happy about it. My children are signed up for the Summer Reading program at our local library. They each got a free book and it was delivered. We’ve caught up on reading books from the Dolly Parton Imagination library and reread favorite books from our own at-home-mini library.

Check out your local library for reading resources, including audiobooks and educational TV delivered digitally. Apps like Libby and Kanopy connect you with free digital content via your library account.

For the next few weeks, instead of my typical planning for fall, I’m going to make sure my family is healthy, schedule outdoor activities to make more summer memories, and roast marshmallows for s’mores in our backyard fire pit while reading books around the fire. Enjoy your summer!

 

Fall Prep Resources

A topic for many families is finding quality and affordable childcare. If you would like local information and guidance please reach out Pollywog or Family Connections.

For learning are home,  resources are visit Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Learn-at-Home.