While there’s still plenty of summer left, school will start before we know it. Some start as early as the first week in August, so it’s crucial to get your family prepared now. The more prepared you feel, the easier the transition will be for everyone.
Set the Clock
Summer vacation usually means a breakdown in routine. Kids sleep late and go to bed late, so their internal clocks get thrown off easily. This can lead to early morning meltdowns and rushes when school starts again. To avoid these, start instituting earlier bedtimes now. Note on your calendar when school begins; a month before, push bedtime up by 10-15 minutes. Gradually push it further up, by 15-30 or 60 minutes, until you’re back to a school year bedtime.
Practice Morning Rituals
School mornings are hectic for many families. With everyone trying to get dressed, grab lunch and supplies, and get out the door, it’s no wonder kids are cranky in the morning. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Practice morning rituals ahead of time. For example, set an alarm clock so your kid knows to get up at a certain time. Pack a lunch and leave it in a prominent place for your child to pick up. If he or she is old enough, your child can practice making lunch.
Make Academics Fun
Look for fun teachable moments during summer. If your kids are helping you cook, talk about how measurements work. If you exercise as a family, encourage kids to write down how many miles they’ve clocked or how long they’ve exercised. Have them add the totals up or multiply to see how much they do in a week. Encourage recreational reading with regular library or bookstore trips, and make time to read as a family. Even older kids love being read to, so take advantage of that.
Talk to Your Kids
Ask your kids what they’re looking forward to about school and what concerns them. Do what you can to alleviate those concerns. If your children are afraid that they won’t make friends, look into activities for kids who share their interests so they’ll have common ground with classmates on the first day. If they’re worried about a new teacher, attend a Meet the Teacher day. If the school doesn’t host one, call or email the teacher to arrange a meeting or ask questions.
Know the Policies
Every teacher has a different homework policy and a different classroom discipline style. The more you and your kids know about these, the more likely everyone will get along. Remind your kids to bring home any materials the teacher sends, such as welcome-to-class letters, syllabi, or homework assignment folders. Check these often to ensure your kids are on track in the classroom.
We would like to wish all students, families and teachers the best of luck with the new school year!