After a long, lazy summer, does any kid want to go back to school? Use these simple tips to make their transition a little easier.
Reconnect with Old Friends
In the midst of summer camps and family vacations, it's not unusual for kids to lose touch with their school friends. A couple of weeks before the new year starts, try to arrange a playdate or two with these friends (maybe even some new classmates, if you know who will be in your child's class). Feeling connected to their school friends can help alleviate some social concerns that your children might have about the new year.
Start an Achievement Tree
This quick summer art project will serve an important purpose all year long! Draw a tree with numerous brown branches on poster board, and create a handful of "leaves" on strips of green paper. Each time your child accomplishes something she's proud of—such as a successful day at band practice or a solution to a tricky geometry problem—she can record it on a leaf and tape it to the tree. By the end of the school year, she will have created a full, lush tree!
Prepare for Good Mornings
A few days before the first day of school, start talking with your kids about what their morning routines will look like. Young kids may have fun drawing pictures of each step of their morning schedules, while older students can benefit from creating "responsibility charts" that will help them sail smoothly through their daily routines. Also, practicing things like laying out clothes and packing lunches a day or two beforehand can help make the first early morning a smooth one.
Reset Your Body Clocks
Many families enjoy relaxed bedtimes and sleeping in during the summer, so it's unrealistic to expect your kids to immediately adapt to early morning wake-up calls. At least a week before school starts, go back to your school year bedtime and wake-up time. This can help you avoid having a groggy, cranky or confused child on the first day of class.