Tips for Easing into Back-to-School Mode
In the midst of putting on the sunscreen and shopping for school supplies, the next minute you realize they’re off to the bus stop. And while nobody wants to rush those last lazy days of summer, now is the time to prepare your kids for the school year ahead.
Teachers and child development experts offer thoughtful tips for easing the family into “back to school”:
- Talk it up – Offer your kids positive vibes about the upcoming school year. Share some of your memories about going back to school in certain grades. Acknowledge some “firsts” that they may experience as a result of their new grade. Use some words and descriptions that may inspire some excitement about going back to school.
- Get organized – Set aside time for them to try on last year’s clothing, shop for replacements, and talk about breakfast and “packed lunch” options.
- Have a discussion to set school rules – What’s the after-school schedule? What are school night and bedtime routines? When and where is homework to be done?
- Plan the first week’s routine – Know what the kids are going to wear that first week and what will be packed in school lunches. Planning ahead can save time and tears later.
- Plan a fun back-to-school breakfast – Get the year off to a happy start with a favorite family breakfast on the first day of school.
- Reset their inner time clocks – At least a week before school starts, begin to wean your child away from staying up late and sleeping in.
- Have a dress rehearsal – Will your child be walking to a new school? A different bus stop? An after-school center? Do a run-through before the first day, and reinforce stranger-danger rules.
- Prepare for their first evening home – Kids may come home on that first day with a school calendar, a stack of papers to fill out, or a list of needed supplies. Keep your calendar light so you have the time to attend to whatever is necessary.
- When you ask how the day went, mean it – Ask questions if your child is not forthcoming, and really listen to what they say. Knowing you are interested will help keep them talking as the school year progresses.
(Adapted from an article written by By Barbara Pronin.)
Reminisce in your own back-to-school memories and enjoy these special moments. Here in Howard County, although the calendar says “back to school,” we can still enjoy the warm summer weather and lasting days of sunshine. And to take a peek at what’s coming up, here is the Howard County Public School System’s condensed school calendar, which includes “days off” at a glance.