As summer comes to a close, so does the unstructured leisure time and easy living associated with this 3 month break from the norm. Going back to school means going back to a routine and reaffirming expectations for academics, behavior, and overall family standards. Like with any major transition, it will be important to pay mind to the alteration in daily living in advance. Here are 3 helpful tips to ease this transition and to prepare your child for a positive school year.
3 Tips to Prep Your Child for a Positive School Year:
- Begin school bed-time and wake-up time up to a week prior to the beginning of school. If you missed this window, start to establish the school bedtime as soon as possible. This does not mean your child will fall asleep right away at this new bedtime, but as long as he gets in the groove of getting into bed earlier to wind down, even if he lays there, it will help prepare him for the upcoming transition for school. This is the same with the morning time routine. Even if your child wakes up from an alarm at 6 a.m. and just lays around, this can serve to reset the body.
- Plan for any upcoming changes. Going back to school is a major change in it’s own right. If your child is starting at a new school, plan ahead by arranging a tour of the unfamiliar setting. Talk to the school to see when you can set up this preliminary visit and if possible, ask to set up a meet and greet with his new teacher. This exchange can facilitate positive feelings about starting the new year and reduce any feelings of anxiety.
- Arrange a family meeting. Sitting down with your child before the start of the school year to iron out weekly routines and expectations can help provide a framework for what will be tolerable vs. intolerable behaviors during the school year. To prevent future arguments about the frequency of computer/technology time, homework routines, and social plans during the week, collaborate as a family about what can be expected. For instance, if it is required that all homework is completed before only 1 hour allotment of computer time, the child can be aware of the expectation and make positive choices to earn this reward. If the child does not complete all work before bedtime, the child may not be eligible for computer time that evening but potentially can earn extra time over the weekend as a reward. Communicating about expectations of behavior can anticipate future challenges and provide solutions to problems prior to them arising.
Taking the time to establish routines and expectations at the start of the school year will help set up your child for a great year. For more on starting the school year right, click here to read about establishing a homework routine for school success.