Back to school
As summer draws to an end and children start back at school, most of us are left feeling exhausted and concerned about getting the kids ready for the upcoming school year. Staring school may come with a host of challenges we may not be ready for, especially for those parents who have kids who struggle in the classroom. This can bring about anxieties and justifiable concerns. Here are a few tips to help make the process smoother:
Talk to your kids about returning to school:
Prepare your kids mentally and emotionally for the first day/week back. Help them feel organized and excited to start back. Getting them new supplies adds to the excitement and helps them look forward to staring back. This excitement may not last but can help ease the transition during the first few weeks. Most kids have a summer project or homework assignment that is due on the first day back. Make sure this is completed fully before the due date to avoid extra stress and disorganization. Talk to them about how great school is going to be this year and that summer is not over yet. They still have plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors/swimming/pool etc. The weather seems to be holding up, and they can enjoy a few more weeks of summer activities after school.
The key here is being organized. This will not only help you but also your child. Having an organized home and mind-set is key. Organize clothes, supplies, books and create a special place in the house for them to complete homework. This should be ‘their’ space. The more personalized their space is the more inclined they will be to actually sit down and complete homework assignments and projects. Give them a healthy after-school snack before they start their homework. Have extra supplies handy so you’re not running to the store mid-afternoon in a frenzy trying to complete a project.
This can vary from one child to another. If grades were an issue last year- make this a priority. Talk to your child about expectations for this school year and what it’s going to look like. Simply saying ‘ you need to get A’s and B’s this year’ is not very effective. Lay out a plan of how this will be achieved. If it’s one subject that needs attention or multiple the child needs to feel that it is an attainable goal. Implement consequences for bad grades such as limiting screen time, toys, and activities with friends after school if they are not trying to improve their grades. Sit down with them if they are struggling with a certain subject and help them complete homework. This will also give you an opportunity to see where they are struggling. Address the area of concern with the teacher or get a tutor if necessary. Encourage them daily.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to bed-time. Implement structure and a routine that is achievable. Expecting kids to go to bed at 7pm every night might not be realistic for kids who have a very hectic after-school schedule. Start by asking them to go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night in the first few weeks. By the end of the first month, their bed-time should get back on track after summer break is over.
Getting enough sleep is important for the whole family. In turn, this will help make the above more achievable if everyone is well rested.
Happy school year!