It’s that time of year again: BACK TO SCHOOL
For many yeas, before I became a mother, I was a teacher so this time of year has a special meaning to me. It was the return to my passion, it was another opportunity to make an impact and a chance to see smiling faces enter my classroom ready to learn! Honestly I miss the classroom and I miss all the excitement around going back to school. Kids are, generally, so excited and I loved all the enthusiasm I felt from engage parents. Going back to school isn’t just for the kids anymore and as we venture into this time of year I want to share a few words of advice.
My goal is to provide a few tips and ideas on how to make the transition back to school easy and happy for everyone in the family. The reality is that despite the teachers joy and eagerness to get going often times a new school year will bring about feelings of anxiety, sadness and a few jitters. Some of these feelings arise in the children themselves and some of them arise in parents! But no matter back to school should be fun and exciting!
Things To Consider Before Going Back To School
MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR: Do the back to school shopping as a family! This is one of the best ways, especially for younger kids, to get them excited and happy about starting school. If possible allow them to pick out their own backpack and lunchbox. Encourage them to be there when you pick up the crayons and markers and other classroom supplies. Use this time to share with them the changes that are coming. This gives them some time to process but still allows them the opportunity to do something fun!
ADJUST THEIR SCHEDULE: If you child hasn’t started school yet (like mine) you still have time to get them prepared by beginning to change their summer schedule. What do I mean? Well, for a lot of families bed times, wake up times and meal time are pushed later during the summer months. And if you can start adjusting those times about a week ahead of going back to school you are likely to get a happier child in the morning! For example we have started to move my son’s summer bedtime back by about 15 minutes each day. This naturally begins to shift their wake up time to a little earlier each day.
Ideas For The First Few Days After Going Back To School
CREATE A TRADITION: In our family my son gets ice cream after school on his first day. We started this tradition when he began 2 year old “preschool” and have continued. While he is just excited about ice cream I am excited to build a tradition that he begins to look forward to. It also allows me to have something to look forward to that first day I drop him off.. because we all know us mama’s are sometimes the criers! Maybe start your own simple tradition or activity for going back to school. It doesn’t need to take place on the first day back; it could be the first weekend, or maybe after their first full week or even after the first month. But giving something to look forward to can help both parents and children.
MAKE CONTACT WITH THE TEACHER: Set up a quick check in your child’s teacher can offer some relief from anxiety and really set the tone for a great school year. As a teacher I would have LOVED this. I know there are back to school nights and meet the teacher nights but those are not personal and specific for your child. If you are short on time consider setting up a time to speak on the phone with your child’s teacher. And then use this time to share all the wonderful things you love about your kiddo, the dreams and goals you have for them and you desires for how you and the teacher can work together to achieve them.
What To Do A Month After Going Back To School
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE: Within the first month of going back to school children and parents have had time to work out any kinks in their schedules. Developing a routine can be very grounding for the whole family. It helps take the guess work out of what is going to happen after school and it helps children feel secure and successful. It is also helpful for parents as they can set aside time to help with homework, follow up on assignments or just be there to listen. More of then not a routine naturally begins to form so go with that… don’t recreate the wheel!
Here’s the deal; going back to school is the best time of the year! Kids love it! Teachers love it! And parents love it! However as with anything change can be difficult so remember to go easy on yourself and your children. Make sure to keep everything positive (to the best of your ability) and remind them of all the amazing things they will learn and do in school. And when it comes to drop off… go ahead mama, you can cry!
Happy Back To School!!
Until Next Time,