Transitioning from summer vacation to back to school can be rough on kids and parents. Gone are the days of sleeping in, no schedules, and playing outside. Now both children and their guardians must hunker down to get clothing, school supplies, and routines put into place to avoid the usual mayhem that accompanies the first few weeks of school.
Even if you’re ahead of the curve and have already purchased all of the required school supplies, new clothes and kicks for the kiddos, you’re not necessarily out the deep end yet. Below you’ll find tips to ease the summer/school transition and help your children excel in school this year.
Create an Evening Routine
The summer can seem like a perpetual weekend for many kids. Late nights mean sleeping in pretty much everyday-and why not? They don’t have anywhere to be! However, those late nights and late mornings can take a serious toll on your child’s mood when school starts. To avoid a rude awakening, create an evening routine where your children go to bed earlier at least a week before their first day of school. This will allow them to get back into the routine of going to sleep and waking up at regularly scheduled times.
Make Healthy Meals & Snacks
Let’s face it. There is a ton of junk food floating around today and it can be easy to let kids chow down on hot dogs, burgers, and ice cream for the better part of the summer. During the school year (well all year, really) it’s important to make sure that your children are getting the proper nutrition. A well balanced breakfast will fuel their brains for early morning quizzes and nutritious lunches will keep them alert in the afternoon.
Healthy after school snacks and dinners are crucial as well. Pinterest offers thousands of easy snacks and dinner ideas for weeknights that are delicious and good for your whole family
Homework Takes a Front Seat
Especially at the beginning of the school year you may find your child is resistant towards homework. If this becomes a serious issue you can always discuss your options with your child’s teacher. In the meantime, some helpful tips to get your children on board the "homework train" are:
- Create a special study area for homework. Have your kids help you decorate the area with fun learning materials that support education rather than distract.
- Encourage and show interest in your children’s homework. Let them know how important education is to your family in a positive way.
- Read with your child at least 20 minutes a day. Suggest older children find a series they enjoy to read by themselves if they would rather read solo.
- Plan some rewards. The usual stickers or a treat for a good grade are always a good option, but try letting your children create their own goals to meet in the new year. Help them choose goals that are age appropriate so they have something else to look forward to rather than just good grades. When they meet their education goals, plan something fun like a trip to the museum or a family vacation based around something they are currently learning in school.
One Last Hoorah!
Too often in our society transitional time periods are not given adequate acknowledgement or celebration. Throwing a party themed around your children starting school or the end of the summer is a celebration that can become a tradition in your family that both you and your children look forward to. Starting school shouldn’t be a time of dread, it should be a time for celebrating the growth and education of your family as a whole.
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