What if Our Children Can’t Return to School this Fall?

Here are creative suggestions for preschool thru elementary aged students

Carolyn Riker


As a former elementary school teacher, who later became a private tutor for grades K-12, I can assure you there are ways we can be more prepared if our children aren’t able to return to school this fall.

In this article, I focus on the possibility of not having our children return to school in August or September because of COVID-19.

Ask yourself, what worked for you before and what didn’t? Make a list of pros and cons. Reframe the negative aspects the best you can. Our attitude as parents will foster our children’s perspective.

Granted, this last spring wasn’t ideal. Yet, how can we prepare to make it better if we need to repeat another round of ‘homeschooling’ this fall?

I’m huge on being prepared. Probably to the point of being overprepared. So, here are some suggestions. I’d love to hear your ideas too.

Reevaluate your child’s learning area.

  • What was missing before that you wish you could do differently?
  • Was the area free of as many distractions as possible?
  • Did my child learn better at the kitchen table or did they do better closer to where I was working?

If you have more than one child was it better to separate them or keep them at the same table?

Sometimes it is hard to separate them because of limited space. One solution is to create a privacy partition. I have found many children work better with less visual distractions.

You can easily make a privacy partition from a medium to a large cardboard box or you can order one from a teaching supply store, such as Lakeshore Learning. You can also use a tri-fold poster board, like the kind students use for science fair presentations.

I prefer the handmade versions made from a box. Either way, let your child decorate their personal portable classroom, on the outside and inside. Let them be creative.

Stickers are a simple motivational tool.



Carolyn Riker

Carolyn's latest book, The Colors I Hear, is now available!