The African proverb that states “it takes village to raise a child” is especially true this year. As your children dive into the school year, you may find they (or you) need additional support. Don’t go it alone. Trying to be a math, science, or English teacher for your children can be exhausting, as can serving as tech-support for online learning. Engage a tutor or academic coach to help — perhaps an older student in your neighborhood can offer support. No matter what learning looks like this year, here are four tips to set your family up for school success.

Get organized.

Establish school day routines by developing consistent times for homework and play and enforcing reasonable bedtimes. Children like to know what is expected of them and by when. Also set up a dedicated space for online learning and/or homework. Keep school supplies close by and clear the area of distractions. The list of supplies for school may look different this year as desks, chairs, and laptops may be needed in addition to the usual paper, pencils, and folders. Check out clients at The Barter Company which offer goods and services that can help with furniture or IT needs.

Take advantage of after-school activities.

The pandemic has changed aspects of after-school activities for the time being, but many are still being offered with some modifications. For example, music teachers offer virtual lessons or focus on different aspects of musical learning such as rhythm or theory. Also, many sports leagues are operating with precautions such as masks or social distancing in place. Check out what is offered in your area and the routines put in place to help kids stay safe while getting some needed exercise and social time.

Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine.

A typical back to school season is stressful, and this year is even more so. Many fitness centers are offering virtual exercise and mindfulness classes, and some are working with people individually. The Barter Company has many wellness and fun exercise clients that accept barter. Find out what services they offer as a possible way to incorporate stress relieving activities into your day. If you find that you need more than regular exercise to help with stress, get counseling assistance for yourself or your children when needed. Having someone to listen and offer encouragement can make all the difference.

As you and your family returns to school, be sure to consider how barter may be useful to find what you need without spending cash. Review what The Barter Company clients offer and learn how barter works.