It's that time of year again! Back-to-school time brings mixed feelings of excitement and dread. Here are some tips to ease your children through the transition:
Establish bedtime and wake up times
If your school hasn't started yet, now is a good time to establish a bedtime and wake up time routine. Set up a school day routine at least a week in advance. Waking up 10-15 minutes earlier each day will help avoid the sudden shock of an early alarm clock. Remind kids of how tired they will be if they stay up too late - too tired to have fun!
Gather school supplies early
Nothing builds the excitement for a new school year like a fresh pack of pencils, brand new notebooks, backpacks, and pens. To avoid last minute stress, shop for clothes and supplies as early as possible. Let your kids create their own special "image" as much as you can.
Reduce back-to-school anxiety
The first few days of school at all grade levels are pretty stressful. Kids are both excited and nervous about seeing friends and meeting new people as well as facing the challenges of new classes and teachers.
Make sure to acknowledge that back-to-school anxiety is perfectly normal. Help your child focus on the positive aspects of returning to school.
Before or during the first week of school, help your child create a large, colorful list or collage to show what he or she likes about school and what is causing feelings of stress. You can use the child's "school board" as a way to open discussions about the school experience and help him or her cope with problems.
Crossing off a stressful event after your child has met it, for example, is a great way to illustrate how to overcome fear.
Go over basic study materials
Spend a few minutes each day reviewing vocabulary, math, history, science and other subjects your child learned earlier as well as the material for the new school year. Download a few fun learning apps to make reviewing fun. If your child needs extra assistance during the school year contact our learning specialists at the Literacy and Language Center. For more information about how we can help your child succeed, call (415) 242-1205.
Share your own experience
Recall funny, surprising, and even embarrassing back-to-school memories to share with your child. Reinforcing the fact that we all go through this process can help kids visualize coming out on the other side of this stressful moment in life.
Remember to check out our Facebook page for more back-to-school tips in the coming weeks!