The start of a new school year comes with a lot of big feelings: excitement, anxiety, curiosity, and more. Students. Parents and teachers are looking back fondly on summer memories while getting ready to dive back into learning together. Despite the excitement that comes with the back to school season, transitions can be tough! These 10 tips can help alleviate some the stress that surrounds back to school time.
1: Start school wake-up and bedtime routines early.
One part of summer that everyone loves is the late nights for catching fireflies, bonfires, movies, and more; however, studies show that elementary school aged students need 9-12 hours of sleep per night while teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. As summer comes to a close, start adhering to wake up and bedtimes for the school year. This will make those first days and weeks of school much easier and less stressful for both you and your child.
2: Include your child in the back-to-school experience.
Back to school season comes with a lot of planning and preparation. Make your child a part of as many experiences as possible. Who will pick out their outfit each day? Where will their shoes, backpack, and lunch box be each morning? What kind of after school activities do they have? By including your child in these decisions and plans in a developmentally and age-appropriate way, kids can take ownership and accountability. Feeling empowered can help kids perform these routines and tasks with excitement and eventual independence!
3: Get back into a consistent routine.
Let's face it...summertime can be chaos. Camps, trips, play dates, and adventures of all kinds can wreak havoc on your family's day to day routine. A week or two before the first day of school, get back to your family routines like set mealtimes, playtime, bath time, bedtime, etc. Nailing these routines down will help your child handle back to school routines more smoothly.
4: Practice, practice practice
Especially with young children, practice makes perfect. Have your elementary school aged children start practicing their routines before school starts. Whatever routines they need to do on a school day, they should be practicing in the weeks leading up to the new school year. Now, they don't need to master each routine every day before back to school; however the more practice and exposure, the more comfortable they will be when back to school comes.
5: Be excited and positive about back to school.
For some kids, back to school seasons causes a lot of anxiety. Kids who struggle with big changes in their routines can find back to school very stressful (even if they like school!) When speaking to your child about back to school, acknowledge their worries and fears while maintaining a positive and excited outlook on the upcoming year.
6: Dip your toes back into academics.
Kids (and parents) most definitely deserve a fun-filled and relaxing summer. Spending time not thinking about school or academics is perfectly fine however; once the final weeks of summer are upon us, start sprinkling in learning where you can. Read books about topics that interest your child, go to museums, and give them engineering challenges with building materials like blocks or legos...there's an infinite amount of low-risk, high-engagement ways to ease your child back into learning.
7: Start reading every day.
If your child hasn't been reading each day over the summer, that's okay...but it's time to start! Reading every day is one of the easiest ways to transition back into learning. Some easy ways to jump back into daily reading include letting your child choose what they read, setting a 10-20 minute timer, and reading aloud to your child. Ask your reader questions about their books, like their favorite part, the most interesting thing they read that day or a prediction they have about what might happen next in their book.
8: Weave summer and subject areas together.
In the weeks before the first day of school, find authentic ways to include subject area work into your days. Make a number line while doing sidewalk chalk, talk about science while blowing bubbles, test out hypotheses of sinking/floating while at the pool, find two syllable words on a restaurant menu, and have your child write the food shopping list for the week. There are so many ways to target school subjects in day to day life.
9: Encourage curiosity to spark learning at home.
Use everyday life experiences like thunderstorms, hot pavement or condensation on the outside of a cold drink to cultivate curiosity in your child. Asking and exploring questions is the basis of learning and there will be lots of that going on in the first days and weeks of the new school year. Getting kids excited about learning will help get them excited about school!
10: Learn about their school and teacher.
If you're able, take your child to visit their school, teacher or classroom. Many schools have open houses or meet the teacher days. If your child's school does not offer this, explore the school or their teacher's website with your child. This will help familiarize them with the place and people they'll be spending their new school year with!
Transitioning back to school can be difficult for many kids, but especially for struggling learners. If your child is struggling with academic growth this school year, let us help you! Our personalized approach, qualified teachers, holistic support, and collaborative mindset ensure that your child receives the comprehensive and individualized guidance they deserve.
Choose The Learning Room as your partner in your child's educational journey. Contact us today and witness the transformative impact of our academic coaching programs. Let's unlock your child's full potential together.