Remote Learning Returns

Many students across the country are preparing to resume virtual school, with classrooms still closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts say simple steps can help ease the transition. NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

(NBC News) — Heading back to school can be stressful for students during a normal year, much less during a pandemic when many will be learning remotely without comforting routines and face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers.

Fortunately, there are ways for families to lessen that stress.

“It’s really important that we make school a priority,” says pediatrician Dr. Catherine Ohmstede.

She advises parents to set a schedule, waking up and starting school at the same time every day.

A quiet, clutter free space away from TVs and video games should be set aside for study and school work

“You may want to use a backpack to keep their school supplies together, so that you can start the day by unpacking that backpack, getting out your school supplies and putting them back in at the end of the day to transition from school back to home life,” Dr. Ohmstede advises.

She also suggests starting the day with 15 minutes of exercise and building in digital breaks for physical activity throughout.

“We know that short bursts of exercise improve problem-solving skills, they improve memory, they improve focus and they also help us manage stress and manage anxiety and depression,” Dr. Ohmstede explains.

Meanwhile, parents working from home should consider “office hours” for school related questions teach kids to move onto easier assignments on their own if they’re not available to help.

Dr. Ohmstede also suggests sticking to a meal and snack time schedule to reduce mindless eating.

She says there has been an alarming uptick in obesity among children with previous healthy weights during the pandemic.

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