Ideas for Making the Back to School Transition Smooth and Seamless
Back-to-school supplies and backpacks are vivid reminders that school days are here! Here are our favorite practical tips for easing into the back-to-school mode.
Before School Begins:
- Promote continuous learning. Over the summer, students lose a significant amount of what they learned the previous school year. Play games or activities that enable children to recall or reinforce academic skills while having fun. Make up games or play ready-made games, like Light 'N' Strike Math, to reinforce skills.
- Familiarize children with school behaviors. Help prepare children entering preschool or kindergarten by role-playing at home. Transform a room into a classroom, or use the Pretend & Play® School Set to play school and familiarize young children with school behaviors and activities. A visit with your child to their real school is also important.
- Develop a school schedule. Get children back into the habit of getting up and ready for school one to two weeks before school starts. Gradually bring bedtime back to what it needs to be on school nights. Have meals at a regular time. Use the a tool like The Time Tracker® to help children maintain schedules and prepare for transitions. Stay on a schedule as much as you can before school begins.
- Establish homework rules. Before school starts determine what the homework rules will be and clearly communicate those rules to all students in the family. Take into account that children, depending on age and personality, are different in their approach to homework.
After School Begins:
- Show an interest. Ask your child about school activities and talk about what was discussed in school that day. Take your child to the library to check out materials for homework and make time to read with your child as often as you can.
- Reward progress in homework. If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (e.g., pizza, a walk, a trip to the park) to reinforce the positive effort.
- Stay connected with teachers. Once school starts, be a partner with your children's teachers. Establish a dialogue with them and continue it from the beginning to the end of the school year. Studies have proven there is a direct connection between student success and parental involvement.
Whether it's the first day of school or the last, make sure your child knows you're there to listen to his or her feelings and concerns, share in all achievements, and that you don't expect perfection - only that your child tries his or her best.
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