We’ve been marking the magical yet frenzied back-to-school season in this country for centuries — even before it was a country — since Boston Latin School, which still operates today as the oldest public school in America, first opened its doors to students in 1635. However, in this unprecedented pandemic fall of 2020, educators, parents and students must navigate something quite unusual that can’t exactly be named, by anyone. The once-predictable excitement of new teachers, new friends, new backpacks and shiny new shoes paired with that all-important first-day outfit has been replaced with the dread of continued remote learning and too many unknowns.
At ParentMap, we’ve decided to dress ourselves up for the first day of school anyway — we’ve chosen our September back-to-school issue to reveal a brand-spanking-new design. This issue is chock-full of content to address some of your BTS preoccupations, from the critical importance of annual wellness checkups to inspiring ideas that will make supporting your child’s instruction at home a little easier and a lot more fun. Having kids learning at home while you try to work, function and plan out how to feed the team multiple times a day requires a whole new menu of tech support — equip yourself with our reader picks for apps to help busy families stay organized.
One of my top parenting failures was not understanding that responsibilities help develop self-reliance, emotional skills, autonomy and kids’ need to feel needed. Consistently prioritizing age-appropriate chores has been cited as one of the chief predictors of success in adulthood, so increase your little toddler’s social-emotional and essential life skills with some good old-fashioned chores.
Now that the house is clean, how about a little educational screen time? In this month’s Parent Day Jobs, you’ll meet Auntie Lena, the TV alter-ego of inspiring producer and host Val Thomas-Matson, who has created a new series designed to encourage BIPOC children to take their rightful place in the world.