Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back to School - Ready or Not

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.
2. Start Routine Changes Early
  • 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
3. Set Up a Study Zone
  • 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
4. Incorporate School Papers Into Your Communication Center
  • 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
5. Start a Back to School Tradition
  • 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
Ready or not - the school year begins. Let this year be the best one yet!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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