Summer is almost over! While few children and no teenagers will admit to looking forward to the return of early mornings and homework, there are ways to make going back to school more acceptable, and even exciting. Encouraging young minds to look forward to the days of learning, sets a standard for all new things. Here are some tips to get them going in the right direction. For the majority of kids, going school shopping is one of the most exciting afternoons leading up to the big day. While most parents, on the other hand, dread just the thought of it...especially if they plan to take advantage of Tax Free Weekend. This should, however, be an activity to do together. This is one of the easiest actions, as it is required by the school’s ISD. Doing the big pre-school shop with your child can be a great way to start building anticipation for their first day of term.
Decluttering your child’s bedroom so that there’s space for all that shiny new school stuff can be a great way to prepare them for a new school year. Clearing away mess will also help to prepare them mentally. Allowing them to choose where they want to have their study area will make it that little bit more fun for them. Remove distractions and remind your child to use this area for studying only. Help them keep separate this area from other activities like playing, eating and sleeping.
I ran across a cute idea of the School Supply Scavenger Hunt. If taking your child to do the shopping of these supplies just seems like too much, let them explore your choices later with a game that helps with reading, clue following, and imagination. All of these skills are key to successfully mastering daily work, homework, and even exams like the ACT and SAT. Examples are “If writing is an activity you like to do, find your pencils by daddy’s brew.” You can then hide their writing utensils near the coffee maker. Or, “White background and blue lines are secretly hiding by the canines.” Let your doghouse hold their paper. Simply, rhymes can become more complicated as your children age.
Don’t lose all the great memories you made in the summer – the holidays, trips to the beach or park, playdates and water-fights. Get your child a scrapbook and a glue stick to capture it all. Plus, if they receive the homework titled “My Summer and What I Did”, they are already one step above the rest with a documented book to help with storytelling.
Start planning out some new ideas for school lunches – there are lots of tips online. Bento box lunches are all the rave. Ask for their advice on what they’d like and give them a few tasters before you pack them for real. Let them choose a new lunchbox too – getting a box with their favorite cartoon character on is bound to keep them happy! For older kids, if they enjoy getting creative, buy a pack of plain brown lunch sacks and let them decorate them to their liking! Remember, packing a lunch saves lots of money and helps encourage better and more proper nutrition. This works particularly well if your child is just starting school. Put a simple planner on the wall and get a supply of stars to make a very visual reminder of how many days there are to go until the first day of term. Let them put on a star a day to add to the excitement. You can also put activities on the last week before school starts. Things like, Tuesday - Organize supplies in backpack, or Friday - Lay out first day outfit. This type of organization helps by building excitement by SEEING the progress.
And last but not least. Don’t be alarmed by a sudden transition to early mornings – gradually ease your kids into the idea that pajamas are for night-time and that breakfast happens before 10am. Start setting an alarm in the run-up to the big day, but reward them with tasty breakfasts and day trips to make it seem more fun. And remember, early to bed, early to rise. Start setting their bed time a bit earlier to make those mornings easier to wake up to.
Enjoy your summer and let’s get ready for school!