The start of a new calendar year signals change, and the start of a new school year signals change as well. Schedules often significantly change at this time of year, and sometimes children need reassurance.
1. Pertinent Books
Many wonderful books focus on the topic of returning to school. If your child is feeling hesitant, excited, nervous, or a combination of many emotions, reading books on the topic is a great way to ease uncertainties and to talk about feelings. Many books on this topic use sensitivity and humor to deal with the emotions associated with a new academic endeavor. The Berenstains, Judy Blume, and Mark Teague, are all well-known authors who have written books on this topic.
2. Back to School Supplies
Nothing beats any dreary feelings associated with the start of a school year more than some new school supplies. The end of the summer is prime time to stock up on shiny new folders, glue sticks, backpacks, and fall clothing. Grocery stores, office supply stores, discount stores, craft stores, and pharmacies offer rock bottom prices that won’t be seen again until this time next year. Many department stores and even consignment stores also offer specials on fall clothing for back to school. Your child may feel some independence and confidence when being involved in this process, and it is even a great time to teach your child about the benefits of frugal shopping.
3. Place for Everything
When you have everything that you anticipate needing for the start of school, it is important to also think about the old adage of “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” The phrase has stuck around for a reason. Regardless of the size of your home, it is necessary to have a designated spot for the torrent of papers, book bags, sports equipment, musical instruments, and other school and extracurricular items that accompany the school year.
The long days of summer and relaxed nature of summer schedules often lead to relaxed bedtime schedules. To ease your child back to school, it is important to also start easing sleep schedules back to where they need to be in order for your child to sufficiently function during school hours. Adequate sleep is important for your child to be able to focus and to do his or her best work.
5. Prior Night Preparation
Before going to bed, it is highly advisable to do everything possible in preparation for the morning. This means that children or parents can choose entire outfits the night prior and lay them out. This will avoid morning frustration and wasted time trying to decide on an outfit or finding a missing shoe or sock. Packed lunches can also be prepared the night beforehand. Any papers that need signed can be taken care of and placed in book bags so that there is no paperwork to take care of or to forget during the morning hours. Knowing that everything is ready for the morning may even help everyone to sleep better as well, since there can be an air of calm.
6. Parent up First
A final tip for easing your child back into the school term is to make sure that Mom or Dad wakes up before the child or children. By waking up ahead of time, parents have the opportunity to have a moment for themselves and to also make sure that the morning runs smoothly by having plenty of time to ensure that everyone eats breakfast and speaks before parting for the day. Breakfast is an important part of starting the day out right. Allowing extra time in the morning also ensures that there is time to talk or embrace if a child is feeling scared or uncertain before heading off to school.
About this author: Brianna Kelly writes on a regular basis for Giraffe Montessori Schools, who have 18 locations based in Dublin, Ireland. She has over 5 years experience publishing articles on childcare education and parenting.