It’s the end of the summer and you are charged with the daunting task of getting your children back into the swing of things for the start of their school year. All summer the kids have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning and have slept all day into the early afternoon, and the words schedule and routine have become a foreign language.
It can be quite overwhelming to parents and children to switch gears from a somewhat lax, carefree schedule to having to prepare for your day ahead of time and having to stick to a tight schedule. It does not have to be exhausting, for your children may find joy in preparing themselves, thus taking the load off of you.
Back-to-school preparation also makes things go smoother for teachers.
I’m going to share with you some tips to help parents and children prepare for a new schedule.
- Start their “Back to School” sleep schedules no later than a week before their first day.
Naturally, our bodies take a while to adjust to shifts in sleep patterns and schedules. Have you ever switched from working days to nights? Yea, it’s not an easy transition and it could be even more difficult for a child to have to readjust their schedules also. A week or two before school starts, set a reasonable bedtime for your children and practice getting to bed at that same time every night. Talk with your children about why getting to bed at this time is important to their health and their success in school, so that they won’t be inclined to hop out of bed and grab their tablets once you leave their bedroom.
Children love having independence and being helpful. Allow them to pick up their clothes each night before they go to bed. For older children, you could take things a step further and allow the kids to iron their clothes. Learning how to iron is an important skill that they will take with them into adulthood and teaches them the importance of good hygiene and always striving to look as neat and wrinkle-free as possible.
3. Plan to go to your children’s open house.
It is extremely important to meet your child’s teacher, know their curriculum and expectations for the year, exchange numbers, make medical issues known, etc. Developing a relationship with teachers, staff, and administration will be a huge factor in your child’s success in the academic career.
4. After school Plans
Your hard work in preparing to get your children to school has paid off. You get a chance to breathe because you know that for the next 8 or so hours, your child is in the care of individuals that are trained to care for them. But are your plans once the schoolbell rings? Will they ride the bus? Will they be car riders, walk home, or take part in extracurricular activities? Or will a childcare provider pick them up? It is good to have these questions answered before school starts so that you, your child, and the school has a firm understanding of where your child should be once school is out.
5 . Schedule Random Weekly Check-Ins
You remember being asked by your parents or guardian if you had homework. And don’t let them ask that question will you were decompressing from the day by playing the game or texting your friends. More than likely, the answer you gave was, “no, we didn’t get homework today.” Now, whatever answer you may get from your child, you should take the time to go through their folders or check your school’s online portal for homework assignments. Their homework performance is a pretty good indicator of their understanding of what they’re being taught. If they did the homework correctly, ask them to walk you through how they completed each exercise, and if they did not do so well, help them to work through whatever issues they’re having and contact their teacher to make them aware of any extra help that needs to be administered.
6. Provide Multiple Lines of Communication
Bullying is much too prevalent in this day and age, and children are often not forthcoming when they have been victims of this hurtful act. Instead of verbally asking, “how was your day” or “did anything happen today?”, provide them with a journal that they can write in whenever they would like to communicate to you about something that has to happened that they are not yet ready to verbally talk about. This can also help them to process their feelings and open up about the potential altercation.
7. Create a Designated Study Space
When I come home from work and I have work that needs to be done, I find it extremely difficult to work while I’m on the couch, or in the bed, or when I’m around any type of distractions. Creating a clean, comfortable, entertainment and noise free study space will increase your student’s focus, study and get their work done.
8. Create Free Time
Students have a lot rules and schedules to follow at home and in school and sometimes, they need free time to do activities that they enjoy. Carve out and hour or two for your child to play at a neighbors house, go to the park, or socialize on their phones. Agree on a time frame on try your best to stick to it as much as possible.