Starting the new school year is an adjustment for families, but there are many ways to help during this transition. Each child may react differently to the new changes, and your responses as parents are crucial. Take advantage of these ideas to help your fall start off in a calm manner.
Tip #1 – Keep Routines
Students thrive when they can rely on a set schedule or plan. Starting a new school year already brings on many changes, which can induce anxiety. It is important to keep family routines in place so the anxiety will lessen as these routines are familiar and expected.
A morning routine should include a healthy breakfast and a chance to talk with the child about the day ahead. Communicating about after school activities will also relieve any concerns with the child, allowing them to be secure in their day.
The evening routine should include reviewing homework and making sure it is safely tucked back into the backpack to return to school. Making a child feel prepared for the next day will help them sleep better.
Tip #2- Pack Healthy Snacks and Lunches
We all know adults can get upset when they are hungry, and kids are no different. Packing students with snacks and a lunch will help the student succeed.
Lunches that include protein, plus fruits and vegetables will set the students up for a productive afternoon. Do not forget a snack for them as well. Healthy snacks such as cheese and crackers, and granola bars are a good source of energy and not too messy for the classroom
Include your student in the packing of these snacks and lunches so they know what to expect when they open their box. Try including a handwritten note just to say “Hi and have a good day!” can help your child get through the day!
Tip #3- Talk with them after school about their day
Getting children talking about themselves and their day is sometimes difficult. Here are some guiding questions that will help get this conversation off the ground in a positive way.
“What was something good that happened today?”
“Tell me one thing you learned today?”
“What made you laugh today?”
“Where do you play the most at recess?”
Try these tips and see what ways your child opens up. It is essential to make sure your child feels you are empathetic to their day and activities.
Tip #4 – Attend Back to School Night
Every school has a different format for this event, but one thing is constant – teachers want to communicate with you about their classroom procedures, expectations, upcoming events, activities, and how you can help your child this year.
This evening is very important in the life of both you and your child, and I encourage you to make sure you can clear your schedule and attend. Being informed is a valuable way to be a cheerleader for your student.
Tip #5- Be Positive!
All parents bring memories, both positive and negative, into this time of year from their own schooling. You now have the opportunity to help your child see schooling in a positive light. Encouraging words from a parent go a long way in helping a child cope with a difficult problem, situation, or thought about school.
Reinforcing the importance of school and the associated activities will enable your child to go off confidently into the school and participate as best they can. Your positivity definitely influences your child and their positive attitude will help them throughout the whole school day.
Nancy Funk is the Head of School at Christ Church Day School in Coronado where they serve children in Junior Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.