Easy Tips For Surviving Back-To-School + Our FREE Easy To Make Time Capsule
It’s time and here are our Easy Tips For Surviving Back-To-School. We’ve all been there summer is over and now it’s all about surviving Bach-To-School.
The excitement is in the air as families everywhere get ready for Back-To-School and whether you have a brand new kindergarten student, a new high school student or the last of your 5 children are about to embark on this fall ritual that Back-To-School brings, here are a few tips to help make the transition easier for the entire family, and one you will remember for all of the right reasons.
Going off to preschool or kindergarten is an important milestone for both you and your child. It may be her first step away from home or a transition to a new setting and friends. Even the return to a familiar program has its excitements, pleasures, and anxieties. At the 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old stages of development, “change” can bring a multitude of feelings and thoughts. Some children accept and enjoy change more than others. But it’s not unusual for even the most “experienced” child to need some extra attention during the first days and weeks of school. Here are a few simple steps you can take along the road to a great new year!
- Visit the school or classroom before the first day. Some teachers invite families to visit ahead of time. If not, take a trip to the school to see the building and the playground-walk around the school and casually walk the path to their classroom and from their classroom to the playground and help them to become familiar as to where the bathrooms and water fountains are. After a few times, they’ll already feel right at home by the time the first day comes.
- Read good books about starting school. Literature is a great way to prompt a discussion about going off to school. Luckily there are great books for every age. A must-have for every home is “The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. It is the book I have read to all of my classes for the past 35 years and now many parents get their own copy and have each teacher sign it throughout the school years and then give it as a gift to their children when they graduate.
- Talk to your child about their feelings about school, friends, teachers, and new activities. Find out what they are looking forward to and what they aren’t and help them to talk through it. Especially if is a younger sibling, although they may already feel at home at the school, they may have also “heard tales” from their older siblings both the good and the not-so-good. Talking, and more importantly, just listening and assuring them that you hear their concerns will open the door to more communication as time goes by.
- Practice, practice, practice! Learning how to get ready each morning for the trip to school takes time and start early practicing the “school routine”. Whether it’s their first year in school or coming back after summer vacation. It’s helpful for everyone in the family to get into the habit well before the actual first day. Pretend it’s a school day, and go through the steps of getting up, dressed, fed, and out the door. Even better, let your child be the leader and tell you what needs to be done next.
- Rehearse self-help skills such as dressing, bathroom skills, and hand-washing. Your child will feel more confident when she’s asked to do these things at school.
- Make a portable family album. You can’t stay with your child all year, but your photos can! In this digital age, everything seems to be on our phones or computers. The process of making a photo album together is a bonding and comforting project. Whether you use a small, soft plastic album, or even just a notebook it is something that your child can keep with them, can be added to throughout the year but most importantly can be carried and shared-it’s almost like giving them a way to make their own personal school yearbook.
- Ask your child what kind of snack and lunch they want to bring. Shop together for the ingredients and engage her in the making and packing of the snack and lunches. Also, as a teacher, check to see if there are allergy concerns if possible ahead of time before selecting that “perfect snack” only to find out later that their school has implemented certain food practices to help ensure that each and every student is safe. Children are remarkable and compassionate human beings and they only want what is best for their friends. Over the years I have been lucky enough to see the students and my families come together to help those dealing with potentially life-threatening allergies thrive in a classroom and it all starts with awareness and communication. Many schools have adopted specific policies on what can and cannot be brought to school and you can usually find them on your particular schools or district website. This is also a great way to start a dialogue with your child to help your child understand about food allergies and why it is so important to help make sure that all children are safe.
- Go to school shopping. Back-to-school clothes and items are popular with little guys as well as big. It’s not too early to start the ritual of shopping for special school outfits or a backpack. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Even a “new-to-you” item will have meaning when it is designated especially for back to school. As my children got older, we learned to actually wait until school started so they could see “what everyone else had” before buying anything. Sometimes new clothes and backpacks in the middle of the year can be just what’s needed to get over the mid-school year blues that can hit us all.
- PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE WHEN YOU PICK UP YOUR CHILD AND REALLY LISTEN! With this hectic life that we are all living, it is so easy to be rushing from school to the next activity, to practice, trying to get a snack in them, and so it goes all while trying to multitask. Over the years, it is heartbreaking to see parents never once look up from their phones at pick up time. Take and carve out a few minutes each day and let them know, they are the center of your universe. Instead of asking “What did you do today?” “Nothing…” or “How was school?” “Fine…” try these ….
“Tell Me The Funniest Thing That Happened Toady”
“What made your teacher smile and did they frown about anything?”
“What was something your teacher did that made everyone laugh?”
“What was something you did today that you wish you could do every day”
“Tell me 3 things you loved that happened and 2 things you didn’t like that happened today”
“What is something you didn’t know yesterday that you know now?
“What did they have at school for lunch and if you ran the cafeteria what would you have served?”
“Who were you able to help today?”
“Who helped you today and what did they help you with?”
“What is the best thing you did today and what was the worst?”
“What did they do in another class that you wish you could do in your classroom?”
The list is endless but the point is, it opens the door for more than a one-word answer and realize, that like us all, some days, you just don’t want to talk and that’s OK too.
FREE EASY TO MAKE BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME CAPSULE
School goes by in the blink of an eye and all too soon, you will look around, your kids will be grown and you will wonder where the time went. Even over just a year, your child and you can change and grow in more ways than you could ever imagine. To help you look back and help your child have something tangible that they can see just how much they have grown over the years, we’ve created this great, easy to use FREE Back-To-School Time Capsule that you can create together and at the end of the year when you open it together, have the tissues ready as you look back at a most magical year.
Happy Back-To-School and don’t forget to cherish the little things because one day you will look back and realize it really is the little things that are the biggest things of all. What are some of your tips and tricks that help you to get through Back-To-School?