It’s August, it’s summer and it’s hot, but for families with school age children, the focus begins to shift from days at the beach to back-to-school. For parents, this means getting everyone ready and back on a regular schedule. For kids, there’s usually a mix of feelings, from excitement (new clothes, new school supplies, seeing friends) to anxiety (new teachers, new school, new grade, first time going to school). Here are some back-to-school guidelines to help you and your child prepare for the school year.
Back-to-School Tips for Kids
There is always some anxiety even with the excitement of returning to school– maybe it’s going to a new school, or a new teacher; or maybe it’s a different grade. There are many reasons why a child might feel anxious. Here are some tips on easing the anxiety:
- Talk candidly with them– what are they feeling about going back to school? Are they excited? Are they nervous? Are they stressed? Listen to what they are saying and offer reassurance. This will help them work through any concerns prior to school starting.
- Read them books about the first day of school – young children relate to storybook characters going through similar experiences. Book suggestions
- Be enthusiastic – tell younger children how excited and proud you are for them to start school. For older kids, highlight the positives about going back, for example, seeing old friends, favorite school activities or sports, new clothes or fun school accessories.
- Visit the school – if it’s a new school or the first time in school, arrange to visit the school. Or go to the open house, if the school has one. It’ll ease the transition on the first day if they are familiar with their new environment.
Back-to-School Tips for Parents
Back-to-school means a return to schedules, waking up early, school lunches, homework, school sports, etc. Here are a few tips to help get you prepared.
- Get younger kids back on their school sleep schedule two weeks before school starts. It is recommended that children ages 6-13 get 9-11 hours sleep.
- Create a morning routine that works for you and your family. Your child will arrive at school calm and ready to learn if their mornings are not stressful.
- Get the lists of required supplies, books, and technology they will need for the year.
- Shop early for clothes and school supplies to avoid the last minute rush. (Back to School shopping tips)
- Make appointments for a physical and an eye exam.
- Create a space where they can store their school supplies – books, backpacks, technology, etc. – to help prevent time wasted in the morning looking for something.
- Meet the teachers. “The ultimate support system is not an expert teacher, but an informed and supportive family.” Terry Heick, Edutopia.org. See Terry’s blog – Parents: 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child’s Teacher.
Things you can do now that will help all year round:
- Prioritize homework and limit TV, Phone, and Social Media use. (Creating a Family Media Agreement)
- Make sure they have a quiet place to do homework where there are no distractions.
- Help them prioritize their activities. Today children have a full schedule of schoolwork and after school activities, so helping them manage their activities will not only relieve stress but also provide them with skills that will carry them throughout life.
Posts you may also like:
- Back to School Resources for Parents (https://www.edutopia.org/article/back-to-school-resources-parents)
- 101 Back-to-School Tips for Kids and Parents (https://www.care.com/c/stories/3192/101-back-to-school-tips-for-kids-and-parents/)
- Going Back to School (http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/back-to-school.html)