Transitioning Back to School
As the days get shorter and Labor Day is upon us, our thoughts turn to the inevitable: the beginning of a new school year.
“Shifting gears” from camp mode to school mode is not easy for children and requires some preparation by parents. The following suggestions may help to make this a smoother ride.
Approximately two weeks before school starts:
Adjust your child’s bedtime back to “school night” hours to help him get used to the schedule before the first day of school.
Have your child involved in selecting school clothing and supplies to help generate excitement as she anticipates wearing and using her new purchases.
Talk, positively, about the experiences he will have at school in his new class.
Read stories about starting school – especially helpful for young children.
During the first days of school:
- Be on time when dropping off and picking up at school or meeting your child at the bus stop.
Establish a morning routine that allows for you to spend time with your child before going to school. Even a few minutes of quality time is important.
Make sure there is time for your child to eat breakfast every morning.
Plan an after school routine that includes snack, free time and homework.
Make “play dates” with classmates so your child can bond with new friends.
Allow your child to offer you information about his day at his own leisure. Avoid grilling your child or asking too many questions.
These suggestions should help reduce any anxiety or trepidation that is often a part of a new school experience – whether entering a new school or a new class. Within a short time summer will be just a memory and school will be the focus of your child’s daily life.
Jill Newhouse is the director of Mount Tom Day School in New Rochelle
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