Once you start seeing crayons, pencils, paper, and bookbags in the center aisle of your local grocery store; you know that the new school year is sneaking around the corner. Being that August is National Back to School Month, I’m going to give you a few tips to help you prepare.
Establish a routine: One of the best things about the summertime is not having a bedtime and waking up whenever you want the next day. But alas, school starts at the same time every single day. Children learn the best when they are fully rested. You want to implement a nightly routine that you can stick to. Make sure to start implementing the routine a few weeks before the first day of school so that your children will be accustomed to it.
Practice the route to school: There may have been life changes such as moving, new job, new school, etc. since the last school year. Or, this could be your child’s first year in school. Either way, you want to start studying your route at the time that you would have to make the commute. Make notes about areas where the traffic may become an issue. You want the morning to go smoothly so begin plotting that out now.
Take a tour of the school: If your child is going to a new school or this is their first year in school, then this is a tip that you don’t want to skip. You don’t want the first time your child sees their new school to be the actual first day of school. If it is possible, arrange with school administration for them to get a tour of the school or attend their open house. That way your child won’t feel like such a foreigner on the first day.
Meet the teacher: In order for your child to have a successful school year, there needs to be a partnership between teacher and parent. Once you find out who your child’s teacher is going to be, introduce yourself either via email or in person. Express that you would like to partner with them and need to know what they will need from you as a parent and vice versa.
Set up a study space: Designating a space that is specifically for the completion of homework will help put your child in the mindset for work. A study space should be a table or desk with adequate lighting. Make sure that the study space is fully equipped with study tools; pencils, sharpener, erasers, crayons, markers, calculator, computer, paper, construction paper, dictionary/thesaurus, scissors, glue, etc.
Read nightly: Reading, like playing a sport or an instrument, requires practice. Your child should be reading at least 15 minutes each day. Make this an activity that you do together. Have them read out loud to you as you cook dinner or in their room right before bed. Remember with reading that comprehension is just as important as fluency. To bolster their comprehension ask questions as they read and after about what they are reading. Ask questions about what has happened, how the characters are feeling, what they think will happen next, why something happened, etc.
Breakfast is brain food: Just like getting adequate rest, eating a fulfilling breakfast is imperative to make your child’s brain fully functioning for the day. A healthy breakfast energizes and fuels your child so that they are able to be an active learner. Being that in the summer, children sort of tend to eat sporadically, you want to establish a routine to begin the day with a nutritious breakfast.
I hope you find these tips helpful as you begin to prep you and your child for the new school year. Each school year is a transition for both you and your child. My goal is to make this as smooth as possible for you. I hope this school year is successful for your children!