As the end of summer vacation nears and a new school year approaches, many changes arrive. It’s a big transition for kids going back to school. From summer free time, downtime and play-outdoors time-a new school year puts an end to late bedtimes and no homework. Now the kids have to wake up early and bring home books. Here are ways to help your kids say goodbye to summer-and hello to a new school year.
1.Slowly change routines.
Begin by talking about what the school week will look like. Let the kids know what time the school day starts and ends. Calculate how much time they’ll need to get ready before getting out the door. Ask if they would like to practice the routine for a couple of days or a week. Tell them you’ll take them out to breakfast as a reward for getting up and dressing on time.
2.Use positive spin.
Going back to school after two months of summer holidays can be either a happy time or something to be dreaded, depending on the child and experience with school. Start the year off in a positive direction by talking about all the fun events they have to look forward to. From seeing friends again, to after-school activities, to learning new information-talk about how fun school can be.
3.Establish a good attitude.
Buy school supplies. Whether it’s cool pencils, a lunch box or a notebook, shopping for new supplies is exciting for kids. Shopping marks not only the start of the school year, but a new beginning. Here is a chance to make new friends and succeed in a new subject. Tell your child that you want him/her to have a successful, happy year and that you will do all you can to make that happen. Say, “Let’s cooperate together to make this year the best.”
4.Plan a menu.
Kids who are given choices in the matters that affect them are more invested in making the school year successful. One way to impart the feeling of involvement is to ask what they would like for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the first week. Stock the cupboards with some of their favorite snacks. There is nothing like knowing that treats are awaiting them when they get home.
5.Consider homework philosophy.
Some kids like to do homework first thing after school; others do it best before dinner. Ask your child what worked for him or her last year. Ask if they have any ideas to make homework go smoothly this year. Homework will be easier if they have a choice in where they study and where they do their homework. Studies show that kids actually pay better attention with soft music in the background. Pick out gentle instrumental pieces.
6.Hold an end-of-summer celebration.
A party doesn’t have to be elaborate for the kids to enjoy it. If they’re hanging out with friends and playing games and laughing, they are having a good time. Ask if they would like to invite friends over for a back-to-school party. Let everyone pitch in making the sandwiches and frosting cupcakes, and the party will be a success.
7.Organize their space.
Everyone-yes even kids-feel energized when bedrooms, clothes, desks and bathrooms are clean and organized. Pitch in and make it happen. Change the sheets; dust and get their space spiffy. Even if the kids don’t show it, a fresh space translates into a positive outlook.