It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and in just a few weeks, we will be sending the kids back to school. Here are a few tips I found that may help make the transition a little easier for them (and us).
Remember Routines. Family routines tend to slide in the summerafter all, whats summer without crazy bedtimes, a popsicle habit, and wearing swimsuits for days on end?and it can be hard to readjust come fall. Before school starts, focus on choosing sleep, exercise, healthy foods, and time together. Practice school bedtimes a week before school starts so that the new routine is established.
Get Ready! Dont underestimate the fun and importance of new stuff for the big day. With younger kids, a bag full of school supplies, a new backpack and a few new items of clothing tend to gear them up without any further encouragement. For an older child, this may be the time to give the thumbs-up to that must-have trend item, especially if hes earned some money over the summer to pay for it. Another way to get everyone prepared is to plan a fun family weekend outing to celebrate the end of summer and welcome the new school season.
Show Them the Way. If shes new to the school, show your child her classroom, what entrance and exit to use and where the bathroom is located. If shes taking the bus, visit the bus stop location and explain how to get on and off, especially if its the first time. Show her the drop off and pick up spot at school, tooif youre not sure where it will be, call the school ahead of time to find out. Most schools will allow you to take a tour and to meet the teacher.
Prepare the Teacher. Let your childs teacher know about any specifics about behavior or health, such as a bladder infection. You dont want a child to have a bad experience because hes asking to go to the bathroom every half hour and the teacher says, No, thinking he doesnt need to go so frequently but really he does.
Talk, Talk, Talk. Try to think of all the positive things that they like about school and talk about them as much as possible. Ask about friends they havent seen over the summer. Also look at your kids and note anything different that their friends will notice, such as a new hairstyle or if theyve grown over the summer. Never mention homework or teachers they werent crazy about.
Remember that learning doesnt stop when school does, so you need to convey, in a low-key way, how important learning is to you. Be a role model throughout the year, not just during school time. For example, show how much you like reading, or talk about math and measuring when youre making a recipe together.
Reading school stories to your kids will help get them ready for what to expect. And for the younger kids, its a good idea to explain the role of the teacher to your child. Encourage the child to speak up and let the teacher know if theyre having problems. This is especially important if a child is getting bullied, which can happen even on the first day. They need to know they can, and should, talk to the teacher.
Be Organized. Ease back-to-school anxiety by being prepared. Help your child to lay out her clothes and pack her backpack the night before. Be sure to include a healthy lunch and a snack that your child can open and eat on his own.
Take It Easy. Preparation is greatbut dont go overboard. You can make back-to-school too big a deal! If August was a hard month for you as a kid, it might not necessarily be the same for your child, and vice versa. Youre the best judge of when your child needs reassurance, and how to go about giving it. In the end, remember that its normal to feel a little nervous or fluttery about that first week back. Everyone, including the teachers, feels like that.