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.

Transitions like going back to school are opportunities to learn and grow.
Transitions like going back to school are opportunities to learn and grow.

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:

  1. Be excited about the change! If you are excited and confident, your child will likely be as well.
  2. Prepare yourself. Visit the new setting with your child. Introduce your child to their teacher before school starts.
  3. 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.
  4. Start daily routines. Begin earlier bedtimes and begin involving them in tasks like packing lunches and laying out clothes for the next day.
  5. 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.
  6. Always say goodbye to your child. If they are struggling with separating, make supportive statements like, “It’s hard to say goodbye.”
  7. 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 information about Michigan 4-H Youth Development Programs, please visit the Michigan 4-H website.

For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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