The summer is at an end, and the kids are back to school. But are they ready?
Every new school year is a transition, one that brings multiple changes, and each child will respond differently. Some will be excited while others might experience anxiety, and even kids who aren’t starting school for the first time or transferring to a new school will have to cope with numerous adjustments, and that includes those who are homeschooled. After all, moving up a grade can be a pretty big deal, not to mention the need to familiarize yourself to having a new teacher and a different group of classmates. And that’s on top of all the schedule changes and the schoolwork becoming more challenging.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can help ease your child back into “school mode” which will make the transition easier and less jarring. Here are some ideas!
Follow A Routine
In an earlier blog post, we discussed the importance of kids having structure in their lives even during the summer break. If your child was already maintaining a relatively consistent schedule while they were out of school, then they’ll likely have a much easier time adjusting to the new schedule once they go back to school. If you haven’t already, it would be beneficial to create a schedule with set bedtimes, wakeup times, etc. to help establish a routine as soon as possible.
Sit down with your child and have a conversation with them about what they hope to achieve this school year. Not only will this give you a better idea of where they are academically and where they want to be, discussing your child’s expectations and goals with them makes you better equipped to help them succeed!
Socialize and Make New Friends
If you have younger children, the beginning of the school year presents a great opportunity to arrange playdates, giving your kids a head start in getting to know their new classmates. It is also a wonderful time for parents to get together and establish a community whose members look out for each other’s children, and expanding your social contacts at this time can gain you an invaluable support system down the road.
Stay Up to Date
Attend orientations or special back-to-school events to minimize any surprises for yourself and your kids. Many teachers now also use newsletters or social apps to keep parents in the loop on everything happening in the classroom. Be sure to receive these updates so you stay on top of your child’s life at school. Also try to get into the habit of asking your child about their day, especially in the first few weeks. If they’re having trouble adjusting academically, socially, or emotionally, it’s important to find that out sooner rather than later.
Try to focus on the positives rather than dwell on the negatives by identifying and nurturing your child’s strengths. You can also encourage good behavior and positive attitudes by celebrating their successes with a special treat or privileges. Basically, if your child is doing a great job, let them know it!
Bottom line, getting ready to go back to school can be challenging, but maybe not as tough as you think. A little bit of preparation and forethought can make all the difference, smoothing out the way for those first few weeks to be easier and more enjoyable for both you and your kids.