What is important to do before September? Not only to buy uniforms and notebooks and read 3rd grade science book, but also to talk to your child about what he expects from the new school year.
Yesterday I saw bird leaders start to prepare their flocks for their long flight to warmer climes, circling in the sky, making waggles. For me, this is an annual sign: it’s time to get the kids ready for school. Yes, since late July or early August, it’s time to slowly prepare to get back on track with the school schedule. It seems that there is a lot of time before September 1, almost half of summer and all will have time, but adaptation is not a quick thing. It lasts not a day or two, but a month and a half. Transition periods are not easy to give even to adults, and to children all the more so.
I know many parents who bring their children back from vacation on the last day of summer to “get the most out of it. I, too, to be honest, a couple of times did so. The result: the child needs at least 5-6 weeks to get used to the schedule, still need to read common core books for 8th grade remember how to write and what is math, and then the first quarter ended with not very good results. The child has a feeling of failure, reluctance to go to a terrible school, and then attempts to “get smart” in the second quarter with varying degrees of success. That is why it is better to start adapting in advance.
Reorganize your sleep schedule.
In two or three weeks, begin to shift the sleep schedule to that of school: lie down and get up earlier. Do not make drastic changes, it is better to shift by 15 minutes each day. The most radical parents go on vacation with their children to countries where the time is shifted by 2-3 hours, so that the return to the regime goes naturally. I don’t know how “natural” it is, but it really works. If you are not ready for such measures, you can plan different family outings and activities for morning time, give special morning tasks and responsibilities.
Recall summer assignments.
It’s a good idea to remember that something was assigned for the summer and probably even gave you a reading list. There is still time to read books and do what the teacher asked. Even if the school didn’t give you special notebooks or worksheets with summer assignments, you can easily find them online or at the nearest store and start doing an hour a day. This is especially true for kids who don’t learn very easily. With them we sometimes play ahead of the curve: not only repeat what we’ve learned, but also go over 2-3 (no more!) new topics from the textbook: “Let’s see what you’re going to go over, oh, interesting!” Our job is to make sure that the child comes to school prepared and immediately feels competent and successful.
Get ready for the new school year, but don’t get carried away
You shouldn’t force your child to sit over textbooks during summer hours against his will, even if you think he needs to catch up with the program. Then school will be hateful even before the child comes to it in September.
Support your child
The beginning of the school year is associated with change and separation. New classmates, new teachers, schedules, parting with friends from summer camp or summer camp. Young children often need parental support, especially if the child is shy or withdrawn. Try to find out at least some of the changes that are coming for your child so you can prepare him or her for them ahead of time.
Have a heart-to-heart talk
Children are waiting for the beginning of the school year with different and often contradictory feelings. Some look forward to school with dread of early risings, homework, or because of their relationships with their classmates. Some look forward to meeting their friends and favorite teachers. Talk to your child and find out what he or she expects from the start of the school year, what he or she fears, what he or she is excited about. Perhaps there are problems that can be solved over the summer or at least find ways to solve them. Sometimes in the summer the child is ready to talk about what he couldn’t talk about during the year. As a result of such conversations it happens that parents change schools, look for tutors or summer courses for the child, send him to a psychologist.
Get a checkup
Before school it is a good idea to visit the main doctors to make sure that the child’s health is okay, and the holes in the teeth or the fact that nothing is visible from the blackboard will not interfere with learning. At the same time you can begin to deal with school problems: dyslexia, dysgraphia, school neuroses. In August, many specialists are out of vacation and it’s easier to get to them.
Make a schedule
August is the time to plan your schedule. Discuss the clubs and sections that the child would like to attend this year, what he would like to do in addition to school. Try to make a tentative schedule with your child, even if you don’t know exactly when and where classes will be held.
Get ready for school together: buy school uniforms and supplies together. Let your child be their own judge and choose what they like. You can make a list of necessary purchases and allocate a certain amount of money for your child to practice staying within the budget, and at the same time to remember math. New rulers and pencils will add to the joyful expectations of the next school year.
Say goodbye to summer
A special “goodbye to summer” ritual can be organized. Transition rituals that show the reality of change are important for many children. This can be a family picnic, because summer is necessary, among other things, to communicate more with the family. Or a meeting with classmates – familiar faces and established relationships will make you feel calmer in September. Maybe it will be a meeting with friends from summer camp, where kids often make great friends.
Try to turn preparation for school into a joyful event, not a boring job, then the adaptation to the new school year will go easier.