The start of a new school year can be filled with excitement, but it can also be a challenging transition. These tips for parents can help you and your children ease the shift from a summertime schedule into a back-to-school rhythm.
Visit the School Before First Day of Class
Visiting the school and learning where to go can help children feel less overwhelmed on the first day of school.
- Rehearse the commute to school
- Meet the teacher
- See the classroom
- Drop off school supplies
Meet Up with Friends
Your children’s friends will be going through the same transition. Their camaraderie provides comfort to one another.
- Connect with your children’s friend’s parents and arrange a play date at the playground at school.
- If some of their friends are going to be in your child’s class, arrange with the other parents to let them walk together to class on the first day.
- For friends who aren’t in your child’s class, find a spot on the playground that they enjoy and tell them to meet there during recess.
Start Kids Early on Their Usual Routine
The summer tends to have less structure to the day than the school year does. Getting your children used to their new routine before school starts will make the transition smoother.
- About a week before school starts, get your children in the habit of waking up early and getting ready for school each day.
- Practice getting to the school or bus stop on time.
Get Your Children Back in Learning Mode
The return to learning for several hours a day can be a tough transition. Doing activities toward the end of summer that are both fun and educational can help.
- Take your child to a library, zoo, or museum.
- Spend some additional time reading and practicing arithmetic—try a flashcard game.
- Give your child small homework assignments with due dates.
Take Inventory of Clothes and School Supplies Before Shopping
Purchasing school supplies and clothing can really add up. Going through your children’s clothes can help keep their closets organized and make more economical decisions on what to buy.
- Donate clothing items that no longer fit and still in good condition.
Shop Together for Needed New Clothes and Supplies
Shopping for school supplies doesn’t need to be a daunting task. This is a great opportunity to get your children excited about school. Take the school’s supply list and let them make decisions on what to buy, within the list’s parameters.
- Let them read the list of items and try to find them in the store.
- Let them choose a backpack with their favorite character or color scheme on it.
- As they find each item, have them cross off each one from the list.
Reacquaint Kids with the School’s Eating Schedule
The laid-back summer routine doesn’t stop when it comes to meals. You have more food options at home than there are at school and summer often means your children do not eat lunch at the same time each day.
- Ask your children’s teachers when lunch and snack time are and stick to that schedule.
- If they order hot lunch, get a list of the types of foods that will be served and try to prepare some of them before school starts.
- Let them help pack the types of lunches they will be bringing to school a few days before school starts, then serve those to get used to how snack and lunch work during school again.
Help Your Kids Clean and Organize Their Desk
A lot of items that are no longer needed can accumulate on a desk that’s seldom used in summer. Having a clean and organized desk before school will make their first homework assignment much more enjoyable.
Make a Weekly Calendar Together
It’s never too early for children to learn how to manage their time. Create a calendar with room to include due dates for homework assignments and after-school activities. Seeing all of their events laid out can also help kids decide how to spend each day and whether or not they have time to sign up for more activities.