It’s that time of year again. Yellow buses abound and children are headed back to the classroom. While this can be an exciting time (for both children and parents), starting a new grade and getting back into an academic state of mind can be taxing. Here are few tips to make the start of the school year a good one:
- Talk it up! Some kids can’t wait to be back in school with their friends while others bemoan the fact that summer is coming to an end. One way to make your kids excited about going back to school is to talk about it in a positive way. Build excitement about the next grade, new teachers or perhaps a new school. Anticipation goes a long way so give them reasons to be psyched!
- Get oriented. Attend open houses to meet teachers, any summer play dates or activities that might be scheduled and ask for a tour of the school if your child is a new student. The more your child knows about what his or her school year will look like, the less nervous he or she will be.
- Stock up on school supplies. Check local papers for sales on back to school supplies and stock up if the deals are good. Odds are, the supplies on the initial list won’t last an entire school year, so grab some extras while prices are low. To give your child a sense of choice and ownership, make picking out school supplies a special event and let him or her pick up one or two inexpensive “extras.”
- Get back on schedule. A week before school starts, try to get your kids back on a bedtime and wake up schedule. This will make things easier when the alarm sounds on the first day of school.
- Prep the night before. Take the stress out of the mornings by preparing the night before. Pack backpacks and lunches. Choose an outfit for the following day. These small acts can save a lot of time on frantic mornings.
- Keep the lines of communication open. In addition to finding out what your child did at school that day and what he or she learned, also ask questions about their friends and relationships. Talk to them about bullying and what to do if they experience it or see it happening to someone else. Let them know that they can come to you or another trusted adult if they have problems.
New Year, Fresh Start
Each new school year is an opportunity to make a fresh start, make new friends and learn new things. Being organized is key to managing the stress of juggling so many different aspects of family life. Now is the time to make a fresh start and make a plan you can stick to!