In a very short time children will be returning to the classrooms. Although most children will be excited about the upcoming year, switching from an easy-going summer schedule to earlier hours and changes in routines can be tough. Also, most children will have at least some concerns about working with a new teacher, a different set of peers, and a tougher curriculum.
Here are a few tips to help ease the strain:
1. Watch Your Attitude
As parents you have a strong influence on how your child views the upcoming school year.
- Don't express your doubts. If you say, "I hope you don't have trouble with Ms. ______." or "I know that 3rd grade is tougher," you set up worry spots.
- Play up the positives. Say, "I'll bet there will be a new child for you to befriend," or "I understand there is a unit on dinosaurs this year!' or "I've heard the school menu has really expanded." Now you have your child looking forward to something positive.
- Start getting up earlier the week before school starts
- Have a full breakfast at an earlier time
- Put together the new backpack and practice walking in the door with it and putting it in its assigned home
- Develop a new checklist for chores and morning routines
- Update the family calendar and post it - log in already known school events and deadlines
- Determine set times for homework, chores, packing lunches, packing up the backpack, and laying out clothes for the next day
- Find a consistent location that works for your child
- Put together a basket or container of all items your child will need in order to complete assignments
- Set up a file for papers that are going to be kept during this semester or school year
- Have a folder for each child to place papers that need action - such as a signature or an upcoming event that needs to be logged onto the calendar
- Add a contact folder for school contacts and special activities for this school year
- Have a cookout the weekend before the first day of school or take a trip to a favorite place to eat where the children can order what they want - talk about the joys and concerns of the upcoming school year
- Have a prize wrapped up for the children to open when they come home from school on day 1
Jonda S. Beattie