Psyching up for School!
As a kid and late summer rolled around, I used to think about the impending school year with a mix of emotions. I really liked the carefree nature of summer, sleeping in, homework-free days, and weeknight sleepovers–but on the other hand I was also excited for school-related shopping, picking out my notebooks and planning what to wear on the first day of class. To keep those last golden weeks of summer from becoming an ongoing challenge, I’ve put together a few ideas to help ease you through the transition of heading back to school!
- Make sure the kids start eating a high-protein, healthy breakfast if they have been grazing or skipping a morning meal completely during the summer months. Kids will transition easier if they aren’t hungry. Make sure you are prepping food and allowing time to eat or stocking up on healthy grab ‘n go options.
- News flash—kids grow over the summer months! Have a little fashion show to determine what still fits and what needs to be replaced well before the bus rolls up the block.
- Start sending the kids to bed earlier and getting them up earlier in 20 or 30-minute increments. For example, if they have been going to bed at 10:00, send them to bed at 9:30pm or 9:40pm. If they have been sleeping until 9:30am, get them up at 9:00am. Keep moving the bed time back and the wake time up until you get them conditioned for “early to bed and early to rise.”
- School will demand more reading from children of all ages. If they have fallen off on the time they spend reading, let them select a book they are interested in to get them used to a scheduled reading time. If they younger, be sure that you are working with them while you read to them—like recognizing rhyming words or asking them about the storytelling to practice listening skills and reading comprehension.
- Ask them about the subjects they will be studying in the early part of the school year. Try to get a feel for their confidence level. If you sense some math anxiety, start refreshing them on math—or take them to a tutor or service like Mathnasium to get a jump start on what’s coming. Give them a head start if needed so they will be ready.
- Create a lunch packing assembly line with the family. Designate a certain time and stick with it so that it becomes a part of their day once school starts.
Finally, ask your kids about how they are feeling about the upcoming school year. Certain ages are particularly prone to anxiety because they may be going from elementary school to middle school, or from middle school to high school. There is often anxiety related to change no matter how old you are—be sure to let them know what they are feeling is common, in fact you’ve felt it too. Talking about that potential stress is the first step toward conquering it.
Once you’re back in the swing of the school year, don’t forget Kids Quest and Cyber Quest when it comes time to reward them for classroom success—we promise they’ll have fun!