The end of summer means time to prepare for a new school year. Buying supplies can be the easy part, however, preparing your children and yourself for the year to come can be more difficult. Here are nine ways you can prepare everyone to go back to school.
1) Re-establish Routines
Use the last few weeks of summer to return to school routines. Begin an earlier bedtime routine, get up and get dressed closer to when school is scheduled. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snacks around the same time you will when school starts.
It is also important to get used to leaving the house in the morning, so plan morning activities away from home in the week or two before school. That can be a challenge for working parents but hustling our child out the door will be less painful when summer habits have been broken ahead.
2) Nurture Independence
At school, children will have to manage many tasks on their own. Prepare them for independence by talking ahead of time about responsibilities they can manage. This might include organizing school material, tracking assignments and remembering homework.
Even young children can acquire skills that build confidence and independence. Have your child practice writing her name, tying shoes and putting clothing away. The transition to school will be easier if basic needs can be met without adult assistance.
3) Create a Launch Pad
Designate a spot at home where school items always go to avoid morning searches. You might also have a list of things to bring to school posted by the door.
4) A Time and Place for Homework
Eliminate battles by making homework part of everyday routine. Establish a time and a place for studying. Plan to be available during homework time, especially with younger kids. Don’t hover, but be around to check progress.
5) After School Plans
Whatever the normal after school routine will be, if possible, try to arrange to be home when your child returns during those first few days.
6) Make a Sick Day Plan
Before school begins, line up a trusted babysitter or group of parents to support each other when children are sick. Make sure you know the school’s policy in case forms are required for other people to have permission to pick up your child.
7) Attend Orientation to Meet and Greet
Schools often hold orientation and information session before the start of each academic year. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet the key players: teachers, school counselors, the principal, and front desk staff.
8) Talk to the Teacher
When you talk to teachers, ask about their approach to homework so you understand the goal. Some assign homework so kids can practice new skills while others focus on the accuracy of the assignments.
9) A Family Affair
Sit down with your child to create a routine chart. The more kids have ownership in creating a new routine and setting expectations, the more likely they are to follow it.
Dr. Diana Garcia
Dr. Diana Garcia has over 20 years of experience in the field of psychology. She has provided psychological and counseling services in Ontario, and the states of Pennsylvania, and Florida