As summer is ending, many children and families are getting ready to go back-to-school. Some other kids are getting ready to go to school for the first time! Today’s Parenting Tip of the Week is about helping transition your child from summer-time to school-time with as little stress as possible.
Getting your Kids Ready for Back-to-School
The most important piece of getting your kids ready for back to school is helping them have a positive attitude! After months of visiting friends whenever they can and playing outside to their hearts’ content, it can be tough to get kids excited about spending time in the classroom again. Ask your children questions like “what class/teacher are you most excited for?” or “who haven’t you seen this summer that you are excited to see when school starts?” Continuing to reinforce the positive aspects of going back to school can help build up your child’s own excitement.
Beyond instilling positive attitudes, there are other great ways to get your child ready for school:
- Re-start your school bedtime routine early. We know that routines are critical for child development, but also understand how things like bedtime and wake up can shift a little during the summer. Start easing your children back into a school bedtime schedule several weeks before the summer ends. By starting to put kids to bed a little earlier and get them up in the morning a little sooner, it will make things easier when school is officially in session.
- Ease back into school-work. If you haven’t been doing specific, school-like assignments during the summer, now is a great time to start. For example, you can give a reading-age child a short book to read and have them come to you later to tell you about the story and what it means to them. As another idea, you could pick up a fun and age-appropriate math or science workbook and spend time doing problems with your child during the day. Here are some more examples from Education World that you can use with your family.
- Talk about expectations. What is your child expecting out of this school year? What are you? Talk with your child about the upcoming school year and set goals. Remember that these goals don’t just have to be based on grades or scores. Your child could want to meet new friends, join a new club or team, or learn about instruments they may want to start playing. Encourage your children to think about school and what they are most excited for, as well as what they’re most afraid of. Talk these expectations out with your children and determine how you can best help them achieve their goals.
- Attend pre-school year planning sessions or welcome nights. Many schools have events such as a pre-school year planning night, Ice Cream Social, or simply a time where the school is open and kids can go find their lockers and classrooms. If your child’s school offers this kind of event, take advantage! Bringing your child in before the school year begins can help acclimate a child to a new school or help reinforce the positive attitude and excitement you’ve been working to build.