Back-to-school strategies for success
Transitioning into a new schedule may be stressful for children. Use these helpful hints to ease back into the school year.
August 23, 2012 - Author: Katie VanderKolk, MIchigan State University Extension
It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down and school is going to begin for another year. Back-to-school time often means changes in routine, schedules and extra-curricular activities.
Transitions are opportunities for children to learn and grow. A smooth transition between home and school can help children feel good about themselves and teach them to trust adults and other children. However, transitions can also cause a bit of anxiety. Some strategies parents and caregivers can use to help children cope with the transition of back to school are:
- Be excited about the change! If you are excited and confident, your child will likely be as well.
- Prepare yourself. Visit the new setting with your child. Introduce your child to their teacher before school starts.
- For young children, arrange a play date with another child that will be in their classroom. Then on the first day of school, there will be a familiar face in the room.
- Start daily routines. Begin earlier bedtimes and begin involving them in tasks like packing lunches and laying out clothes for the next day.
- On the first day, be sure to set aside extra time to talk before school and after. Remember, though, to not prolong the goodbye – staying will only make the transition harder.
- Always say goodbye to your child. If they are struggling with separating, make supportive statements like, “It’s hard to say goodbye.”
- At the end of the day, focus on being a parent.
Transitions are challenging, but rewarding. Start your child off on a good foot for the upcoming school year!
For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.