Summer is winding down and the new school year will begin soon. The start of school can be both exciting and a bit nerve-racking for both kids and parents alike.
Now is a good time to get a jump start on preparing for the new school year. Below are a few simple, yet helpful things from local mom and Learning Specialist, Danna Aussenberg, regarding what you can do with your children over the next couple of weeks to get them feeling confident and comfortable about the upcoming school year.
Get back into a routine. Making the transition from summer days back to the school year can be challenging. Sit down with your kids well before school begins and create a manageable and realistic morning routine that everyone can get on board with. Together, create a checklist of essential tasks that need to get done before the kids head out the door.
The week before school begins, set the alarm clock, go through your morning routine, and aim to leave the house on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school run more smoothly.
Get organized. Before school begins, it’s important to establish where your child is going to study. This area should be quiet, distraction-free, and clutter-free. Make sure to have all necessary school supplies easily accessible – no need to waste time searching for the pencil sharpener throughout the house once your child sits down to do his homework. Have a designated area for all textbooks and notebooks, as well as a good filing system for important papers; it will come in handy once it’s time to review for a big test.
Anticipate and practice. When we have an idea of what to expect, we can make a plan and respond more successfully. The ability needed to look ahead and plan is tough for many children. Talk with your children about the upcoming school year – what are they excited about? What makes them feel nervous? It is sometimes difficult for children (and adults!) to recognize they are scared. Explaining that fear is a normal feeling during a time of transition can help your child become more self-aware and open to strategies that may help them feel more comfortable. Consider making a “worry list” with your child. Brainstorm potential solutions and strategies to help them feel better prepared for school. You can even practice a strategy together ahead of time to help build your child’s confidence.