As each families’ summer month activities start winding down, it is time to begin thinking about the new school year. Often family schedules change during the summer months and routines become lax. After all, summer months are known as vacation months! The transition to fall, and the excitement that it brings, is a fun time in a child’s life.Many of us remember getting new school clothes and picking out a new school backpack or lunchbox. While this change happens every year, sometimes it is smooth and others not as much. Here are some tips to help your family have a smooth and enjoyable transition back to the school schedule.
Establish a Morning Routine
There may already be a summer morning routine, but many times these routines will need to be adjusted as the school year starts back up. As children get older, many routines need to be adjusted. Establish a simple and clear morning routine. One tip to help make the mornings easier is to prepare as much as you can the night before. To help with the transition, begin the new morning routine and earlier nightly bedtimes for the school year 1-2 weeks before the new school year starts. This gives time and repetition to smoothly get into the new routines and will make it easier when the new school day officially starts up.
Talk and Read About School
Begin having conversations about school and the fun your child will have in their new classroom. Find a book about school and read it each night. Ask your child questions about what they are excited about. Creating dialogue between you and your child is a great way to get ready for the year!
Purchase a Backpack, New Clothes, or Supplies Together
Instead of going to pick out things by yourself, make it an adventure going to the store and picking things out together. Your child will become even more excited about school transitions after helping to pick out their own backpack. On top of engaging your child and increasing excitement, this is also a great way to encourage a little bit of their own independence.
Play a Game to Teach Self-help Skills
Allowing your child to be a part of daily routines not only makes mornings go smoother, but also teaches self-help skills and responsibility. The more your child can do, the less you have to do. Children that can help themselves in school have higher self-esteem and frees up teachers to teach. Skills like putting a coat on a hook or hanger, putting a backpack on, zipping a backpack, pushing in a chair when they leave a table, putting on shoes, and opening lunch items are important to learn. Learning these skills can can be made into games at home! Try timing your child to see how fast they can put on their backpack or set up a school activity “obstacle” course. Continuing these activities in the morning will make morning routines fun. It will also increase the chance that children will learn new self-help skills to help them be successful at school.
Positive Upbeat Tone
While starting a new school, or moving up to the next age group can be emotional, your child will take most of their cues from you. Even if you are a little sad at how quickly they are growing up, remember to keep an upbeat and positive attitude in front of your child. This way, they will not take on your negative emotions as they transition! After all, learning should be fun and a new teacher or classroom is full of exciting opportunities!