Easing Our Way Back to School – How to Ensure a Successful Transition
Back-to-School sales of new clothes, the smell of crayons in the air – the first day of school are just around the corner.
It is an exciting time for families as children begin their new journeys into school. Whether they are starting at different schools, or promoting to the next grade level, the start of the school year brings about many different emotions. Some children are thrilled, while some may feel nervous. And yet others are not ready to end their summer fun. One thing is certain though – the first day of school will be here before we know it.
There are many steps that can be taken to help children ease into the new academic year. First, keeping a safe place for children to express their feelings can help them open up about the wide range of emotions they are feeling. Parents may try to open up the discussion with their children in the weeks leading up to the start of school. This is a great opportunity to learn about some of your child’s feelings – fears, excitements, expectations, worries, hopes, and other feelings. Doing so may ensure that you and your child are on the same page, so that you may more or less anticipate the way the first day of school will go, and. This way, parents can become familiar with their child’s current state of emotions to better navigate the feelings that will ultimately arise once they are back in the classroom.
Another tip to help children get ready for the new school year is to create a routine. Depending on your child’s age, you may choose certain tasks that they will be responsible for. For example, parents can help their younger school-age children make a checklist of items that must be placed into their backpacks each night, such as sharpened pencils, a notebook, a math book, and other essential school supplies. Older students can have the added responsibility of preparing their daily snacks by bagging up baby carrots, putting fruit in their lunchbox, portioning out pretzels, and more. Children should also have a bedtime routine to wind down for the night. Ensuring a good night’s rest will help your child prepare for the next day’s adventure in school. Creating a routine helps students relieve stress by helping them feel accomplished and successful while easing some anxiety about the unknown.
Encouraging good study habits before school starts will also help children prepare for the new year. Creating a distraction-free zone for homework and studying is imperative to promoting good study skills. Furthermore, establishing a household rule of no television, video games, or electronics, with the exception of supervised homework use, can help children stay on task and complete their studies in a timely manner as well. While many children require some assistance with homework, parents should encourage their children to attempt their assignments on their own before asking for help, since this may sometimes make children dependent on help, instead of working it out on their own. Needless to say, parents should never complete their child’s homework for them. If your child is having a very difficult time completing an assignment, reach out to the teacher to schedule a time to discuss the individual needs and challenges instead.
The start of the school year can be an exciting time for children. Before you know it, homework, math tests, science projects, and after-school activities will be starting up again. Take some time to prepare ahead to ease the transition for you and your child, but don’t forget to also recharge by enjoying the rest of the summer vacation!
by Tamar Mirzayan