Back-to-school time can be both exciting and daunting for many parents and kids. While some children look forward to reuniting with their friends and making new ones, learning new things, and engaging in fun activities, others may not be as excited. Some may even feel nervous – especially those who are attending school for the first time. Besides enjoying less playtime than during summer,, kids also need to adjust to a new routine as the school year begins. Children must learn important skills so that they can get themselves organized, spend time on schoolwork, and they must also be separating from their parents for the first time. If you and your little one are experiencing any trepidation about the beginning of the school year, take comfort in knowing that these feelings are normal and you aren’t alone. Returning to school can be fun and enjoyable. Here are a few pieces of advice to help ease the transition into a new school year:
Make reading a habit
Reading is one of the most critical foundations for all learning. Reading is what helps your child build crucial skills in literacy, communication and even helps them develop social skills needed for future school success. This is why it’s imperative to encourage and create good reading habits at an early age.
Even before school begins, encourage your child to allocate time for reading. Read bedtime stories together, or spend lazy afternoons enjoying interesting and fun reading materials. Surround kids with books at home, or take them to the library or bookstore so they can choose their own reading materials that pique their interest.
Adjust the bedtime routine before the first day of school
Young kids tend to love summer vacation because they may not need to stick to an early bedtime, or you may allow your child to enjoy longer hours of playtime and screen time. Be sure to avoid problems with the transition by adjusting your child’s night time routine before school starts.
Help children get back into their school year sleep routine at least one to two weeks before the back-to-school season. Limit your child’s screen time at night, and be sure to remove electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. Also, set a specific time for when your child needs to get up in the morning. This will help make school mornings easier and less stressful for both you and your child.
Involve your child in shopping for school supplies
Children tend to be more excited about school when they have new stuff. One piece of back-to-school advice is to involve your little one when shopping for school supplies. Give children the opportunity to pick out the items they’d like to use for school. Let kids choose the color of their notebooks or lunchbox, for instance. This will help them feel more excited about school, thereby hopefully alleviating some of their anxiety.
Limit screen time
While electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones can be extremely useful tools for learning and education, excessive exposure to screens can be detrimental for your child. Overuse of electronics can also distract children from their academic responsibilities.Be sure to keep an eye on your child’s screen usage. Monitor how much time children are spending on their devices. More importantly, make sure your child prioritizes homework before being allowed to watch TV or play video games.
Create a quiet study area
Young kids need a conducive space for studying and doing school work. They need a quiet spot that is free of distractions so they can focus. Find a space in your home that can be used as a study area. It doesn’t have to be a huge space, but make sure it’s conducive to learning. Make sure children are provided with the things they need to complete assignments and study. Surround the area with books, learning materials and other items needed for school work.
Create a rewards system
Who doesn’t love getting rewards and surprises? You can give your little one something to look forward to by creating a rewards system. For example, if children are able to finish their school projects by the end of the week, or if they earn sufficient grades on their quizzes, then a prize awaits them. The prizes, however, don’t have to be something tangible like a toy. It can be a treat from their favorite ice cream parlor, or an hour extension of playtime on a Friday night! The more variety, the more exciting!
Back-to-school time can be a challenging transition for kids and parents alike. Follow these back-to-school advice to make the start of your child’s school year a smooth and exciting journey for you and your child!
For more resources and tips on parenting, or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your little one, please visit Children Central.