Returning to school can be an exciting time for kids, but it can also be stressful, overwhelming, and challenging. Help your child transition back to school with these 4 tips:
1. Get back into the routine. Summer is a flexible time when kids/teens frequently have unstructured days and late bed times. To help ease your child back into the school year, have your child go to bed at his/her school year bedtime one to two weeks before the school year starts. This will help with the transition back to school and ensure he/she is getting plenty of sleep for the year ahead.
2. Get school supplies. Starting the school year unprepared can feel awful for kids. They already feel behind when it’s hardly begun. Everyone wants a positive beginning to their year. Teachers/schools often list the materials necessary for students to have for the start of the school year on their websites. Check-out your school’s website to find the list. If your school doesn’t have a list posted, depending on the age of your child, here are the very basic items I’d recommend to prepare them for their first day:
-a binder with dividers (label/have your child label each divider with subject)
-container or pencil pouch to store supplies in notebook
-loose lined paper (wide or college ruled depending on the age of your child)
-crayons, markers, and/or highlighters (as age appropriate)
-a planner/planning system for middle and high school students
3. Walk campus. The first day is always a little intimidating. Schools are generally open at least a few days prior to the start of the school year. Depending on the age of your child, go with them to the school and help them find their new classroom(s). This is especially important for kids transitioning to a new school. Middle and high school transitions are a big deal and adjusting to a new routine of moving between classes can be overwhelming. Help your child adjust to his/her schedule by walking the campus and locating his/her teachers’ classrooms along with other important locations (i.e. the bathrooms, cafeteria, office, library, etc).
4. Review last year’s material. It’s common for kids to end the school year and over the summer months forget some of what they had learned. Research shows that kids can lose a month or more of their learning from the previous year over the summer break (http://evidencebasedliving.human.cornell.edu/2013/06/19/summer-learning-loss-do-kids-miss-out/). A few weeks (or more) before the school year starts, review some of the key information your child/teen learned. For younger kids, reviewing math facts, along with spelling and grammar rules, are areas that students most often need to review and practice. Have your child read each night before going to bed. There are also many wonderful websites with grade level content and games that they can play to review last year’s material prior to the start of the school year. For older students, have them complete any summer reading, review their notes in math (especially focusing on any concepts that were difficult), and begin preparing for the new school year by looking at their upcoming teachers’ websites.