Comments Off on Back to School: 7 Tips to Start the Year Well
Like all good things, summertime must eventually come to an end. For students, this means back to school and all of the stresses that come with it. But here’s some good news! There are specific steps you can take to help alleviate stress and start the new school year well.
Set Up Routines in Advance
Most children thrive on routines, and a dramatic change like the one presented by a new school year can really throw them off. One way to ease them into it is to start building the new routine, bit by bit, a few weeks before school actually starts. Start adjusting bed times and wake up times. Make sure kids disconnect from electronics they’ll have to put away during the school day. Establish a morning routine that will carry on into the school year, and adjust naps, snack times, and other daily events to be as close to the new schedule as reasonably possible. By the time your student climbs on board the bus, all of the surrounding and supporting routines should be already in place so they can focus on the latest piece of the puzzle, the school day itself.
Read, Read, Read!
Numerous studies have shown that children who are read to at home perform better in school. One of the most fundamental things a parent can do to prepare their little one for school is to develop a love for reading and books. In addition to story time, make sure your child sees you spending time reading, because kids will copy what parents do at least as much as what they say. Consider regular visits to your local library, or subscribe to a children’s book club delivery service so there’s always something new to read. To score some great discounts on new reading materials, don’t forget to check out our Book Outlet CA coupons and promo codes!
Parents who stress out over back-to-school often unwittingly pass this on to their kids. You may not realize it, but even if you don’t voice your worries, little ones still pick up on your feelings and attitudes. Work on projecting a calm, positive attitude, and not only will you feel better, your child likely will too! If your child is already worried about school, it’s important to let them know that the feeling is absolutely normal, and help them to see the positive aspects of the unknown, rather than worrying about the negative. For example, if they’re worried about not being in the same class as their friends, talk about the opportunity to meet new friends and make plans to spend time with their old pals outside of school hours.
Keep Kids Engaged and Involved
Involve your kids in choosing school supplies, planning for school lunches, choosing clothes to wear for the first day back, and other important preparation steps. Back to school can feel a lot less stressful if they feel like they’ve been part of the prep, and showing off a new backpack or pencil case featuring their favorite cartoon characters can make little ones excited for the first day to come. And to save money while you’re at it, don’t forget to swing by our school supplies deals and coupons page first.
Talk It Out
It’s often helpful to set aside some time to talk about the upcoming school year. What are their hopes for the upcoming year? What are their fears? Sometimes just talking it out can make things a lot easier. If your child is heading for a new school, see if there’s a time you can visit the campus and just look around (always check with the school first). Perhaps talk to other moms in the neighborhood to see if another child who was in the same class last year can answer questions or just talk (positively) about their experience.
Set Realistic Goals
Before the school year starts, it’s good to set some basic goals for the upcoming months. For little ones, the goal can be as simple as make a new friend. For older kids try bigger goals like straight A’s or improving their grade average from the previous year. Make sure the goals you set together are realistic and achievable. For each child, set a goal (or goals), then keep track as the school year begins, and celebrate when the goal is met. The celebration can be as simple as making their favorite meal for dinner or going out for an ice cream after school. Having a specific, measurable goal can help take the focus off of vague worries and onto things that really matter.
Now is the time to make sure your kids are up to date on all of their health checkups. Make sure they’re current on vaccines, including those given outside of your child’s doctor’s office. In addition to the routine vaccines, you might want to discuss additional options with the doctor, to be sure your child is prepared for whatever viruses they may encounter. It’s also a good idea to routinely have your child’s vision checked. A declining ability to see distances may not be noticeable to a child during the summer months, but will make a marked difference in the classroom if he or she can’t read what’s on the board.