Most kids are excited to see friends again and a bit sad that the summer is over. However, some students may experience anxiety due to all the new things they will be faced with, such as a new grade or a new teacher.
Here are some tips to help get your student ready for back to school!
Students are notorious for not staying organized and it can be tough to make sure assignments, papers and extracurricular activities are all in the right place. A few simple tips can help your student get organized and stay on top of their schoolwork.
Set Up a Study Station
Long before the first day of school, have your student establish a dedicated space for studying. It doesn’t have to be a desk but it should be somewhere quiet and well-stocked for focused studying. Also consider stocking up on supplies like a three-ring binder, notebooks, folders and pens and pencils. That way your student will have everything they need when it’s time to work.
Use Color-Coded Notebooks
Have your student color code their notebooks or use a label maker for each subject area (reading, math, science). This will allow them to know at a glance which notebook to grab for each class. They can also use a digital system such as Evernote, Google Drive or OneDrive for each subject to keep all the materials together.
Create a Family Calendar
Before the new school year begins, have your student put together a family calendar. Posting a magnetic calendar on the refrigerator or using an online app will help everyone stay in the loop with school schedules, practices, social events and family commitments.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Kids tend to feel a wide range of emotions when school starts. They may be excited to see their friends, a bit anxious about new experiences, and maybe a little disappointed that summer is over. Talking with your student about what they’re feeling is important. It gives you a chance to reassure them that it’s normal to feel nervous in new situations, and lets them know that they can always come to you with questions or concerns.
A good night’s sleep is essential for your scholar to be alert and focused at school, so start a regular bedtime schedule two weeks before the first day of school. This will help your student ease back into the routine of getting up early and going to bed at a set time, so they’ll be well rested for their first day of school.
Try setting up a backpack and coat station in an entryway or mudroom. This will help keep the house neat and tidy, cut down on clutter, and make it easy for scholars to get ready in the morning.
Encourage your scholar to get a healthy breakfast. They’ll be more alert and perform better in class when they eat a healthy meal before school. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss the importance of eating a balanced diet.
Talk to Your Child
If your child is anxious about going back to school, it may be helpful for them to know that their feelings are normal. It can also help for your child to hear that you think they are capable of doing well at school. You can show your support by pointing out all the parts of their day that they are likely to enjoy — such as getting to see friends, having time with their favorite teachers and exploring new activities.
If possible, try to meet with their teachers and visit the classroom before the first day of school. This will give them a chance to get to know their teacher and make them feel more comfortable in their classroom. If you are worried that your child is exhibiting unusually high levels of anxiety, reach out to their teacher or school counselor.
In addition, you can reframe their fear as a chance for them to learn more about the world and themselves. One way to do this is by reading a book together that promotes social-emotional learning, such as Sofia Sanchez’s You Are Enough.
Whether they are returning to school for the first time or transitioning from summer learning to in-person learning, kids can experience a range of emotions as they begin their new year. As they enter into a new environment, it can help them to feel a sense of stability and security by visiting the classroom before their first day and meeting the teacher (if possible).
In addition, engaging in a fun activity as a class can help students get to know one another. Try these icebreaker activities to break the ice and get your students chatting.
It can also be helpful to have kids set up a designated homework area. This way, when it is time for them to do their homework they can have a space where all of their school supplies are easily accessible and where they can go to work without interruption.
Lastly, if your student is taking the bus to school, it’s important to have them practice their routine. This will not only ensure that they can board the bus safely, but it will also help them to learn how to look both ways before crossing the street and to wait for all traffic to stop before stepping into the road. This will help them to be safer on their journey to and from school.