It’s that time of year in a year like no other.
Kids are back to school … but for many that means distance learning online. There’s been a tremendous amount of change and turmoil, to say the least. Some parents have sought alternatives.
Our main feature this month spotlights an emerging trend taking place throughout the country: pandemic pods. These new kinds of learning pods are also popping up in Orange County as a way to give kids some socialization time with their peers and in-person lessons without the large class sizes.
But even while families seek alternatives and support to distance learning, there are local schools and other experts that have been mastering the world of online education for some time now. Our second feature this month explores advice from these education experts on how distance learning can go right and offers suggestions for parents and other educators embarking on another school year with online lessons on the forefront.
In addition to academics, another important area for kids has been impacted by the pandemic: after-school sports and activities. For many families, extracurricular activities have played a major role in the weekly schedule for years. Our third feature this month focuses on the importance of these sports and activities for child development as well as ways kids can continue reaping the benefits even through the pandemic.
Speaking of activities, Family Wellness this month explores another related topic. While people seem to be exercising outside more these days, this seems to have created a secondary health risk: head trauma. According to the trauma medical director at Mission Hospital, the trauma team at the hospital saw the number of people treated for bike, scooter, skateboard and roller-skating injuries, including concussions due to not wearing a helmet, double this summer. Learn more about the disturbing trend and how the risk for head trauma can easily be minimized.
COVID-19 and sheltering-in-place has led to many big changes in society — one of which is in the relationship between grandkids and their grandparents. Social distancing means many grandkids can’t visit their grandparents regularly. The Pause Button delves into this issue and offers useful tips on how grandparents and grandkids can continue to nurture their important relationship even while they’re in different places.
On the lighter side of things (or maybe heavier), Foodie Jr. is giving us the ultimate comfort food to help us eat our feelings. Don’t miss this rundown on some of the most enticing fried chicken hotspots in the county. Just make sure to plan for some extra steps this month in your walking workout routine.
It’s been a challenging time, but there’s still plenty of good things happening in the world — and plenty of innovation. Keep all of those good things in mind as you navigate through the new school year and explore the possibilities.
By Jessica Peralta