As a child I was always excited about the start of a new year school. Who was going to be in my class? What teacher was I going to get? What should I wear? I was filled with eagerness and anticipation. As a teacher, I was also excited about the first day of school, but for different reasons. I was happy to see how much the students had grown over the summer, and anxiously awaited to hear what they had done. I know that most kids usually look forward to ending the school year, but not all of them look forward to the start. When I taught elementary school, I noticed some students had a hard time transitioning back to being on a school schedule that including attending classes on time and work. Here are 5 helpful tips to help your child jump start the new school year and beat the Back to School blues.
1. Review with your child last year’s curriculum.
Review with your child what they learned last year. Look over any saved tests, homework, books, reports, or work completed on the computer as a way of quickly relearning what was taught last year in school. This is also a great way to combat summer learning loss. (If you didn’t save anything and can’t remember, ask another parent or the teacher, and just do the best you can.)
2. Transition back to a regular schedule.
Assign your child reading or writing as homework for an appropriate amount of time according to their grade level. This will help them come to expect homework when school begins. Also if you’ve had a more relaxed schedule over the summer, now is the time to transition back to regular bed and wake up times. When teaching, it was obvious to me the students who had a hard time waking up in the morning, and it would unfortunately delay their learning and being fully engaged in the lesson.
3. Create a journal of summer memories.
This will not only become a keepsake (hopefully) for years to come, but it will help your child remember what they did over the summer. Casual or formal, it can be written, drawn, or even a collection of photographs. Most teachers will have the students share what they did over the summer, so this will help them be prepared.
4. Go Back to School shopping.
Kids get excited about Back to School shopping and buying new clothes and supplies. In the classroom, I found that students who picked the color or cartoon character of their choice were excited to show off their new school supplies, and also ready to learn. Shop early or online for best selection and to avoid the crowds. (If you have a low or no budget, look online for freebie school supplies or try a neighborhood clothing swap.)
5. Set a goal for the new school year.
Similar to a new year’s resolution, set a goal for the new school year, and then take action. If your child wants to make more friends, start looking for play groups and set up play dates. If the goal is to get better grades, hire a tutor or plan to ask the teacher for help after school. Join a sports team if your chid’s goal is to be a better player. Just ask your child to set a goal, listen, have fun, and take action.