The nights are getting cooler and the days shorter. That can only mean one thing, summer is coming to an end and it’s almost time for the kids to go back to school.
There are some children who look forward to going back to school and reconnecting with friends, while others dread the thought of starting another school year. Regardless of what group your child falls into, you will want to make sure they have a positive back to school experience.
Starting the school year off on a positive note will ensure that you and your child have a smooth transition from the laid back days of summer to the more structured routine of school. Below are some suggestions for how you can successfully transition your children from summer to back to school mode.
1. Monitor your child’s progress on assigned school work. Many schools assign students reading and writing assignments to be completed during the summer. You want to keep track of whether or not your child does this. It’s easy for kids to forget a reading assignment when they are busy having fun. However, the last thing you want is to have your child trying to finish the assigned work the night before they go back to school. Save them the added anxiety and make sure they finish their work well ahead of when it’s due.
2. Buy school supplies early. To avoid the rush of back to school shoppers and stores running out of supplies your child needs, do your back to school shopping as early as possible. Many stores start running their back to school sales as early as July.
3. Schedule doctor’s appointments during the summer. Schedule your child’s annual physical and dental appointments in the weeks before they go back to school. This way you can address any developmental concerns you have with their pediatrician. This will also eliminate the need for kids to miss school because of doctor’s appointments.
4. Re-establish bedtime routine. If you aren’t already doing so, implement a bedtime routine for your child. This is especially important if over the summer they were allowed to stay up late and sleep in. Children need at least eight hours of sleep daily in order to function optimally. Establishing a bed time routine before your child goes back to school will help them tremendously with waking up early in the morning for school.
5. Create a daily schedule. During summer you were probably able to get away with winging it and letting your day unfold organically. However, when the kids go back to school, having a schedule is imperative to maintaining your sanity. Work with your child to establish what time they have to wake up, shower, and get ready for school. When school is over, make sure they know when to eat snack and when to start homework.
6. Help your kids process their feelings about school. Giving children a chance to express and discuss their feelings will help soothe any worries or concerns they have about going back to school. This is especially helpful for those children who are attending school for the first time or who are nervous about going back to school.
7. Be enthusiastic. Children are always watching us. Even if you are dreading your kids going back to school as much as they are, don’t let it show. Try to build their excitement by getting them to focus on the positive aspects of going back to school. Maybe they have a favorite teacher they miss or a friend they haven’t seen all summer. Whatever it is, remind your child that going back to school is not all bad.
The transition from summer to school is hard on both parents and children. No one wants to leave the fun of summer behind for busy mornings, tests, and homework. It’s much more fun to lounge at the beach and enjoy the freedom of unscheduled days. However, all good things come to an end and summer is no exception.
How do you manage the transition from summer vacation to back to school?
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