Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back To School!

September means back to school at our house - some areas are back already - so it's time to put away the summer lifestyle and get ready for school days! Here are some things you can do to help your child get ready:

1. Start adjusting bedtimes/wake-up times if they've changed a lot in the summer holidays.

2. Think about the volume of communication that will be coming home shortly and come up with a way to handle it quickly and efficiently ... a binder, basket, magnet clips ... whatever you think will keep things organized and at your fingertips. Try to return papers as they come home to avoid build-up and stress!

3. Check your school's website for calendars, supply lists, reading lists - many schools are going paperless in many areas and there may be useful information posted already! Any information you have ahead of time will make the transition into school easier.

4. Work out a morning routine, complete with a schedule and expectations, and get your child involved in setting it up - the best way to avoid those early morning melt-downs is to have a clear picture of what needs to happen and then, to follow through - start the year out as you want it to continue.

5. Come up with a short list of lunches/snacks that will work for your child and try to keep options stocked and available as your fall-back when you're not feeling creative and you don't have a plan - keep it simple!

6. If you haven't seen school friends all summer, set up a lunch or play date with a friend or two to ease the way back into school - comfortable children always do better in school :)

7. If you've slacked off reading and writing during the summer, begin reintroducing short periods when your child can spend some time engaging in these activities and reconnecting with the elements of literacy.

8. Chances are that your children will be asked to draw and/or write about their summer when they start school - generate some ideas through discussion, so they can feel confident about their first assignments. Have them reflect on photos or play "remember when..." to get them started.

9. Stamina can be an issue after a long, lazy summer - get moving and walk, bike, run with your child to increase their (and your!) stamina for those longer periods of time when they will need to focus.

10. Positive statements about school, friends, teachers, experiences will help your child look forward to the days ahead - focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the end of vacation and you will be happy when your child is happy, too!

Enjoy! Have fun!

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