During the summer parents are often too consumed in the never-ending juggling act of work, household duties, and being a parent that they forget how fast the back-to-school season arrives. It is not only important for your child but also for the rest of the family to be prepared for a smooth and happy transition.
Before you break out the mimosas and donuts you need to do the following methods to help ensure your child has an easy transition getting back into the school routine.
Prepare your child by having conversations in the morning before school and spend time during the week talking to them about how things are going. This builds structure and communication which is crucial for students. All kids are different so keep in mind that there is no wrong way approach, you know your child and will know what works best for them.
Going back to school often brings its’ own set of challenges but toss in a global pandemic and a year of isolated remote learning through that has now caused an increase in anxiety. Teach your child ways they can remain calm when they are feeling nervous or anxious, this will help the child to alleviate those anxieties.
"Even though in-person learning is usually best for their physical and mental health overall, it could take a while for them to adapt back. Kids are resilient, but they also have emotions without the maturity to process those emotions in a healthy way." -Dr. Kyle Monk, Pediatrician at Cedars-Sinai.
Set Realistic Expectations
Setting high expectations could potentially do more harm than good if your child’s abilities do not fit the mold. This is another area where you will need to analyze their skills including both weaknesses and strengths. Be clear, consistent, and celebrate any expectations that are met.
Get supplies early
Waiting until the last minute to get school supplies can be risky as the stores could be out of stock on the items you need. It’s also a great way to set the mood and get everyone excited about the coming year. If you have little ones have them help to sort supplies and talk to them about what they are looking forward to learning about. Your teenagers may not be so interested in shopping with the family so give them some independence and ask them to shop online for the best deals on supplies they need. This is a great way to include them the budget process which helps them in the long run.
Play educational games
It is so hard to transition overnight going from pool parties to study hall so plan a few fun activities whether it’s in a workbook or a board game. This will give you a chance to see where your children are academically and find out if they will need any extra support in subjects that could be more challenging.
It is time to finally put Marie Kondo’s methods in place at your home once summer is dwindling down. An organized home has many health benefits from stress relief to sleeping better which will surely have a positive impact on your child. It also helps you prepare for the influx for projects and team sports and the endless amount of paperwork that is about to flow through your house.
If there is a dedicated spot like a clean desk or common room where your children can work on homework then you are already on the right track. If not, ask your kids for suggestions on what they need for their space. It could also be fun for them if it is a space they can decorate to their liking.
Just remember to listen to what your children need and be there for them when they need it. Navigating through school is one of the hardest obstacles a child will face. There are so many ups and downs that it feels less scary when your parents are by your side. Try to be involved as much as you can because Studies show that parents who are more involved with their academics are more likely to be successful in terms of higher grades, better test scores, better social skills, etc.
We hope these tips help your family prepare for going back to school successfully. Good luck with the new year.