I used to know the start of another school year was around the corner when the school backpacks would reappear from closets or under the bed. My children would bemoan the fact that school was starting but in secrecy, they were organizing their backpacks and preparing for all the opportunities a new school year would bring. The start of school should be filled with excitement, possibility, and stress-free. The tips below will assist in making the beginning of a new school year smooth and enjoyable for all. See you on Wednesday, September 7!
1. Establish New Bedtime Routines
If you are like me and my family bedtimes are difficult to enforce in the summer. Now is the time to begin insisting on earlier bedtimes and earlier wake-ups so that when the first day of school arrives your child isn’t cranky and unwilling to get up. As was noted in an article by Simply Greater, “The average elementary student needs 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Sleepiness affects a student’s ability to perform and get along well with family and friends, so getting a proper night’s sleep can avert numerous problems. Conquer morning madness by establishing consistent wake-up times and morning routines.”
2. Get Ready The Night Before:
The night before school will be full of excitement, and it’s the perfect time to start getting ready for the big day. Lay out backpacks, clothes, and anything else needed for the day to cut down on morning chaos. In my family, once everything is laid out for the first day we celebrate the start of a new school year with a family dinner. We take the time to reflect on favorite summer memories and think about our hopes for the new school year. It is a fun way to alleviate the before school jitters.
3. Make A Backpack Plan
There is nothing worse than feeling the pressure of not being able to locate something for school as you are heading out the door. I am never long on patience first thing in the morning, so I found it helpful to instruct Ellie and Thacher to store homework in their backpack and never on the kitchen counter where it can get lost or soaked with spilled juice. This will ensure they have every assignment (or at least most!) ready for turning in and will lead to a more relaxed start to the day. The same holds true for school library books; after they are finished reading, the books should be put back in their bags, so they are prepared for library day.
4. Soothe Your Child’s Anxiety
Parents and children alike can feel nervous about starting a new school year. A great way to calm everyone’s nerves is to read a book addressing the topic of beginning a new school year. Children also love hearing stories about the time when you were in school. I know in my house a good story goes a long way! Some of my favorites books to read are:
5. Tackle The Paperwork
Once the first day arrives, dedicate time to reading through the school and class information that comes home. Be sure you understand homework policies, birthday-treat rules, absence procedures and the daily schedule. Reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns.
6. Set Your Child Up For Success
During the first few weeks, support your child with reminders about homework, library books and items such as sneakers for PE days. As your child gets in sync with the school-year routines and learns how to handle new responsibilities, you will most likely be able to give up the reminders. The better they transition into the new year, the better it will be for you too.
7. Be On Time!
Being on time can be the number one way to ensure that everyone starts their day on the right foot. It is important to arrive at school by 8:15. Students need time to greet their friends, catch-up on work and be ready for morning meeting. There’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than being rushed out the door and feeling like you are missing out on the fun by arriving late to the classroom.