Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Pencils, paper, bookbags, lunch boxes... What do all of these have in common? They all signal "Back-to-School". It's often a struggle for us, parents, to get back into gear when the new school year is approaching FAST.
These are some tips and suggestions that I found very helpful.
1. Early Riser Routine: A week before school have your child begin to wake up early. My son would drag so bad the first week of school that he was stressing himself and myself out. It caused him to be late. Not a good impression and also not a good start to the school year. Practice waking up and going to bed early.
2. Get basic supplies early: Many parents wait until the school's open house to get school supplies. I have learned that it's a bad idea. Usually, when waiting a number of the supplies are gone by that are needed for class. Get supplies, especially basics early. This may include pencils, spiral and composition notebooks, loose-leaf paper, highlighters, crayons, scissors, etc. You don't have to buy a huge number, but enough to get started. *Tip: wide-ruled paper is mostly used for Kindergarten to 4th grade. College-ruled is used for 5th and upper grades.
3. Lunch Ready: For kiddos, who are starting school, it is very beneficial to practice lunchroom manners and how to eat during lunchtime. The typical lunchtime in school is 30 to 45 minutes. However, that time is shortened by the lunch line wait, opening difficult packages, or even talking/socializing. Have your child practice at home on how to open difficult packages, eat the main course first before talking, and even sit in the seat correctly. Far too often, children seat with their knees in seats and lose balance causing scraps and bruises. One time, I has a child lose their tooth that way at school. This method helps our little ones practice and know what to expect beforehand. *Tip: If the packaging is too difficult, use resealable sandwich/snack bags or fun snack containers that are easier to open.
4. Reading and Math Prep: I continue learning with my son in the summer. I review all of the previous grade-level learning topics. We would practice things that he missed and didn't understand. We would also previous his upcoming grade-level standards. However, not all of us can do that! During the last two weeks of summer, have your child practice/review math skills with either worksheets or a workbook. Also, have them read books. This will allow them to gear up their brain for learning.
5. Make a school year vision board: With your child, sit down and discuss learning as well as social goals with them. Ask them what they want to achieve for the school year, academically and socially. Gather materials to create a vision board with them such as posters, crayons, markers, stickers, magazines, pictures, etc. Write their goals on the board and have them draw, and place pictures or stickers to help add motivation to the board. Once completed, place their vision board in a visible location such as their bedroom, dining room, or by the front door. I do this to help with accountability and reminders to keep the focus on a goal. At the end of the school year, sit down with your child and review what goals they accomplished and what they would want to try the next school year.