Though many children today spend their summers (or at least a portion of the time) in some type of school-age childcare program, starting a new school year is still difficult. The following tips can be applied to either situation in order to make the transition a little bit easier.
1. One or two weeks before the start of school, start getting back on schedule. Even if you have been working all summer, chances are, schedules have been a bit more relaxed. If necessary, start waking children up earlier in order to make the earlier bedtime easier.
2. Change meal times at home to reflect the school meal schedule. Often, summers mean staying up later and sleeping in longer, making meal times a bit later. Skip late afternoon snacks; instead, serve dinner a little earlier.
3. Remind your child of the fun times they had at school last year, and how good seeing old friends will be.
4. Most schools send out information before the beginning of school; part of your job as a parent is to pay attention to things such as enrollment deadlines, and back-to-school activities.
5. If your child’s school does not have a “meet the teacher” night (though most do) set up a time when you can come and meet him/her; you should tour the school with your child as well.
6. Purchase school supplies as early as possible. The longer you wait to do this, the higher the chance that some supplies will be sold out.
7. Help your child pack their backpack a night or two before school starts. Doing so adds a sense of security, which helps the adjustment process.
8. Encourage your child to pick out something cute and comfortable to wear. Learning is difficult when clothes are uncomfortable.
9. Empty your schedule as much as possible in order to be able to focus on this sometimes difficult time of year.
10. Remember that “big kids” need support and reassurance just as much as “little kids.”
Have your child make a list of what they enjoyed during the vacation. This will help them appreciate the family time, reflect, and separate the summer from the school year.
by David McLeod
Owner School-Supply-List.com and Elementary School Teacher
David has been teaching elementary school in Central Texas for over 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in online education related websites and blogs.