Heading back to school can be bittersweet! Going back to school and learning with friends is always a fun and exciting time for children of all ages. However, leaving home and the carefree times of summer vacation can prove difficult, especially for kids! Getting out of bed early, giving up the lazy days of sitting around and playing with friends, and lounging during the afternoon is something that can’t last forever. So what can you do to get your children ready to go back to school this fall? There are lots of tips that you can utilize to help your children get back into the swing of things for the upcoming school year, whether they are starting kindergarten or heading off into high school.
Meet the Teachers
Meeting the teachers is one of the most anticipated activities for the back to school season. If your child hasn’t already met his or her teacher at the end of the school year, you will have plenty of time to meet the teacher over summer vacation. If your school does not openly organize a parent teacher meeting, you can always send an e-mail or make a phone call and schedule one for you and your child before the school year begins. Most of the time, schools (especially elementary and middle schools) will set up a meeting for all of the parents to meet and socialize with the child’s teacher beforehand. This is a great idea, as you will get a feel for how the teacher will be handling the class, what kind of work will be completed, and what to expect during the upcoming school year. It can also help get the children excited for returning to school.
Create a Routine
During the summer, many routines are disrupted or disbanded entirely. Many things can interrupt this schedule, such as staying up late for special activities, attending parties, and spending time with friends during the summer months. Even though it’s fine to have a break from the school routine during the summer, at some point it is essential to get back into the swing of things, and that includes your typical school year schedule. Start by slowly reverting back to your normal bedtime schedule for the school year – if you go to bed around 9 p.m., try to push the bedtime forward a half hour every other night until your child is back to getting to bed around that time. Also, begin waking your child up early. If this is a difficult task (and they might be tempted to head back to sleep during the summer!), reward them for getting out of bed – put together interesting activities for them to engage in every day so that they actually look forward to getting up earlier than normal!
Go Back to School Shopping
Make back to school shopping with your children fun! Get the excitement flowing by allowing your kids to choose their own backpack and lunch box (unless regulation is mandatory). The same goes for clothing – even if they must follow a school uniform rule, you can always purchase them silly socks or fun and fashionable hair accessories to make the transition from everyday clothing to school clothing more enjoyable and easy on them.
Talk with Your Children
Talking to your children about the upcoming school year is incredibly important. Talk about their feelings for the year – are they feeling excited? Anxious? Pensive? Ease fears by telling your children stories about your own experiences in school. Ask them if they are looking forward to spending time with their friends. Getting a feel for how your children are feeling about the upcoming school year will better allow you to help them face the challenges and experiences that lie ahead.
Refresh their Minds
Do exercises and work on things that they’ve learned in the past school year, whether it be reading, math or science. If your children had some trouble in a certain subject, you can purchase them a workbook or help them by going over some material they covered last year. This way you’ll be giving them a quick refresher course. If you’re interested, talking with your child’s teacher can be a big a plus – he or she can tell you what they are going to cover in the upcoming school year, and you can plan at home lessons around what your child is going to be learning. You can also give your child a quick crash course about what you are going to be learning, even teaching them so that they are familiar with the material before the year begins.
No matter how you choose to help your child get ready to go back to school, it is important that he or she is well prepared, both physically and mentally. Ensure that your child has all of the proper health care, such as vaccinations, and that he or she remembers what was learned in the previous year at school. Reviewing can really help to boost performance in the upcoming school year, as well as get them excited for the new things they’ll be learning!
By Kelly Gunderman