Depending on where you reside, many students returned to school this week. While most parents find the idea of someone else being responsible for their children for four to eight hours a day relieving, the transition from summer break to a new school year can get a little dicey. There are a lot of unique struggles to overcome with the start of the new school year.
Transitioning To Something New Is Challenging
Each year there is a cluster of parents and students all around the world that has to embark on a new experience with the start of the school year. This new experience comes in a few different forms:
- Transitioning to a new school
- Transitioning to a new classroom
- Starting school for the first time
- Transitioning to longer days
While some students take the new experiences in stride, there are a lot who just don’t transition to something new well. For anyone who falls into that category, nervous jitters can become so bad they get overwhelmed with emotions and even possibly develop a tummy ache.
And, things aren’t that much easier for nervous parents. After all, sending your child to preschool or kindergarten for the first time is scary. You’ve been the primary caregiver of your child for between three to five years now and it can be difficult to imagine someone else caring for your child.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make embracing the new school year easier on both you and your student.
1. Remember it can take two to three weeks for your child to transition from their summer sleep schedule to their school sleep schedule.
2. Limit your child’s screen time and discourage watching TV, playing on the computer, or using a tablet an hour before bedtime to make it easier for your child to sleep.
3. Try to find an opportunity for both you and your child to meet the teacher before the first day of school.
4. If it’s a new school, reach out to the school to ask about whether touring the school is possible.
5. Research apps geared toward helping your student keep their homework assignments organized such as one from the list supplied by 9 to 5 Mac.
6. Help your child create to-do lists to manages and prioritize assignments. Encourage your child to take short breaks in between long assignments and study sessions.
7. Make sure you have purchased everything on your child’s school supply list.
8. Create an at-home inventory of school supplies for instances when your child runs out of supplies on the list and needs a replacement.
9. Organize and set up an area for your child’s school related things. This should include a place for storing their lunch box, backpack, and a place to sit paperwork you need to review and sign.
10. Set-up a productive place for your child to use to do their homework and study.
11. Establish family time either during dinner or before bedtime. Use this set time as an opportunity for your child to discuss their school day and any potential school-related problems with you.
12. Set up a family calendar that contains everyone’s schedules and obligations. It is important to display this calendar somewhere everyone can see it on a daily basis. In the living room or near the front door are ideal places.
13. Set and establish both bedtime and wake up time for weekdays and weekends.
14. Help your child set realistic goals for their school year.
15. Make plans to reach out to your child’s teacher after the first week to discuss any potential problems.
16. Stock your fridge, pantry, and freezer with plenty of after-school snacks. Children tend to come home from school during the first week extra hungry. Consider buying lunch-ready and snack items in bulk.
17. Help your children organize their school clothing for the week, so they don’t spend the morning hunting for outfits.
18. Pack your child’s backpack and lunch box the night before.
19. Go through your child’s wardrobe and toss or donate things they no longer can wear.
20. Establish a laundry system that makes it easy to keep everyone’s school and work clothes clean.
21. Acquire copies of school lunch menus so you can discuss whether your child needs to pack a lunch or have lunch money.
22. Keep a small amount of emergency funds stashed in your child’s backpack just in case they need it. Just remember to take the time to discuss the importance of only using it for an emergency.
23. If your child takes their lunch, re-organize your kitchen and pantry so the lunch items are in one place.
24. Set all the clocks in your home forward 10 to 15 minutes, this makes it easier for everyone to get places on time.
25. For parents, it is important to schedule 30 to 45 minutes of “you time” for both you and your child. Everyone needs a little alone time to unwind.
26. Invest in white noise machines or night lights if your child has a hard time going to sleep.
27. Stock up on vitamins and encourage your child to drink orange juice during the first couple weeks of school to help combat any illnesses children are prone to after being exposed to new germs.
If you just remember to keep calm and take things day by day, you and your child will survive the new school year.