Envisioning and Creating a Positive New School Year
As the summer days become shorter, and you begin to notice a slight crispness in the morning air, there is no denying it is back-to-school time. Some simple pre-planning can help you and your family enjoy that important first day of school, as well as the remainder of the school year, rather than dreading the chaos. Integrating these tips into your back-to-school process will increase the probability of a positive and effective transition from home to the classroom.
- Re-Establish School and Dinner Routines
Take advantage of the last few weeks of summer to get back into the school-day routine. (1) Start eating meals and snacks around the same time as when the kids are in school. (2) If the kids get up and get dressed at relatively the same time every morning, it will make it easier to get them out the door when school starts.
Establish a dinner time when all family members can attend. Begin the meal with a daily check-in and discuss the best part of everyone’s day as well as the part that wasn’t so great. Finish the conversation with a supportive plan of action if needed.
- Nurture Independence and Organization
Teach skills that build confidence and self-reliance at school and at home. Make sure your child can manage basic needs without relying on an adult, i.e., getting dressed, tying shoe laces, writing their name. Instilling organizational skills in your child will make life much easier for everyone. Teach them to write down assignments, make lists of what they need to take to school, select what clothes they will wear the night before, designate specific places for backpacks, lunch boxes, etc. Eliminate the morning scramble.
- Homework – A Daily Routine
Homework should be a normal part of your child’s daily routine, and it should be done at the same time and in the same place every day. Create a ‘routine’ chart. Ask your child what he/she wants to do when they first get home – play outside or get their homework done? The answer goes on the chart; following the chart routine every day helps avoid hassles. “The more kids have ownership in creating a routine for themselves and setting expectations, the more likely they are to follow it,” says school psychologist Kelly Vaillancourt.
- Have a Sick-Day Plan in Place
Most parents work these days, so secure a trusted backup for when your child gets sick. Be cognizant of the school’s policy for allowing someone else to pick up your child from school if necessary.
- Get to Know the People Caring for Your Most-prized Possessions
Schools typically hold orientation and information sessions before the start of each academic year. Take this opportunity to meet your child’s teachers, counselors, principal, administrative staff. Ask to be advised of dates of tests and large projects so you can help your child plan and prepare.
- Create an Anti-Stress Zone
Choose sports, social and extracurricular activities and events selectively and wisely so that they can be managed without creating a lot of stress. Together, you and your child can make the school year a successful and enjoyable experience. The more prepared you are, the more you and your child will benefit.
Compiled and Written by Kim McBride, LMFT, Owner and Clinical Director of Envision Counseling, LLC
- Taken From: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/family-health-12/back-to-school-prep?page=1
- Image: FreeImages.com