Transitions From Home To School Preparing your child for the transition of going back to school can be easier when you use these recommendations. When transitioning your child from summer to the start of the school year, you need to help prepare your child the best you can for this change in their life. It is important to find a balance between talking too much about it and not preparing the child enough. Your emotions about this transition can be helpful or harmful to your child. For example: if you are worried about your child starting school they will pick up on it and will be anxious too. If you do not prepare your child enough they may become worried about what this school year will be like. You know your child better than anyone. adapt these tips to best suit your child. Getting out of summer mode is a change to everyone’s system. So talk to your child about going to school. Listen to what they have to say and do your best to ease any worries. Your child might be thrilled about it and then that excitement can be so much fun! Again talk to your child to see what emotions they are feeling about this next phase in their life. To best prepare for the new transition of going to school here are some practical tips: Begin to practice the new routines in these certain areas about three days before school starts to make them become a pattern of living. Creating a visual schedule on these items will make the task concrete and predictable for your child.
Bedtime - Go to bed earlier, the same time as the school year. Changing the sleep pattern will give the kids time to adjust to waking earlier. Bedtimes that I suggest are the following. These times may vary depending on what time their school starts.
Elementary School kids around 8:30 p.m.
Middle School kids around 9:00 p.m.
High School kids around 9:30 p.m.
Bedtime Routine - Establish a bedtime routine - bathing, brushing their teeth, discussing the next day’s agenda, reading together, etc. Use a visual schedule.
Rising Times- Get your child up when it is time for them to wake during the school year about three days before school starts. Have them get moving, eat breakfast and get dressed early. Use a visual schedule.
Routines - Practice routine behaviors for the morning and get ready like it was a school day so you can practice your timing. Use a visual schedule.
Organization - Help them pack their backpack or give them the expectation of how to pack it, when to pack it and what should go in it.
Storage -Determine where the backpack will be kept at home so it can be found each day
Lunch - Who will be responsible for packing the lunch. Does it go in the backpack or stays outside of the pack. Practice carrying it too.
Bus -Practice walking to the bus so your child can feel how much time it takes and they are better prepared.
Behavior - Remind them of the appropriate bus behavior. Sitting in their seat and keeping their body out of the aisle. They should control their voices so they can hear the bus driver.
Getting your child out the door prepared for the first day of school will be very beneficial to you both. I hope this is a great start to your school year!
Sample visual schedules are attached below. Feel free to download them.
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Instill the same thrill and excitement when getting your child's school supplies.
Maintain consistent routines.
Bedtime is consistent each night.
Bathe regularly as if they were attending school on a regular campus.
Meals are the same time each day.
Have your child get dressed and ready for the day.
Brush their teeth, comb their hair, and wash their face.
Establish a morning routine and responsibilities for your child prior to logging on. This is a perfect time for them to begin learning a few household tasks.
Assign chores to keep their workspace free of clutter.
Schedule a time of day for your child to organize their space.
Complete chores, such as putting their dishes in the dishwasher, folding their clothes, etc.
Be organized. Use a calendar or planner to keep track of assignments.
Model how to mark the assignments and due dates.
Provide healthy lunch choices and snacks.
Create a lunch and snack menu with your child.
Communicate regularly with your child's teacher.
Read the newsletters from the teachers and the school to keep current on events and happenings.
Address concerns that you have about your child and virtual learning with the teacher, counselor, and/or principal.
Take a walk.
Read or complete an assignment outside when the weather is nice.
Pause and take a few deep breaths.
Keep your child on task.
Frequently check-in with your child to make sure they are on task and using the internet appropriately.
Ask them questions about what they are learning or working on.
Review digital citizenship expectations.
Focus on the speaker/teacher.
No chatting on the side.
Only have one browser open when on video with the class or teacher.
Wait your turn to speak.
Keep your camera on and microphone off unless instructed by your teacher.
Close the day out with a daily closure routine.
Reflect on a few positives from the day.
Review the schedule for the next day to be prepared.
Update the calendar for any future assignments, events, or tasks.
Clean up the workspace.
Homework can be stressful for both you and your kids! Here are some tips to help you and your child get through this without struggling.
To begin homework....
Find a quiet space for your child to complete their work.
Collaborate with your child on the best place and time for them to complete their homework.
Set a timer for how long the task should take. This is a good visual for them to see how long they have to work on the task.
Make sure they have all of the supplies they need, including paper, sharpened pencils, charged devices, table, and chair.
Turn off the TV, gaming systems, and any distracting noise.
Make sure there is good lighting in the workspace.
The homework space should be in a place that can be supervised but not the hub of the home. You want to minimize distractions and maintain supervision.
Keep any younger siblings out of the room or provide a "homework" assignment for them as well.
Provide a drink and snack before or during the assignment if they are hungry.
When your child is struggling with an assignment try the following ideas...
Skip it - Tell your child to skip the problem they are struggling with and move on to the next one. Come back to the tough one later. Otherwise, they waste too much time fretting and end up with nothing completed.
Best Guess - Have your child make their best guess. Even if it is wrong, the teacher will have some record of where they need to begin to help your child. Writing "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer and will not help any parties in this situation.
Set a Limit - Set an amount of time to work on the assignment. If they are still struggling, write a note to the teacher to explain the difficulties. This shows the teacher that you all are working together.
Encourage - Let them know that you understand it is hard and encourage them to try their best. Let them know you won't be mad if they get the answer wrong.
Communicate Effort Over Perfection - Remind them that you prefer them trying their best over being perfect.
Reflect - Tell them to reflect back to the lesson and tell you what it was about. I bet when they reflect they will be able to think about the process they need to use to find the answer.
Alternate Activity - Find something positive for the two of you to do when the homework is over. This not only acts as positive reinforcement for completing their work but also ensures that you spend some positive time together.
Stay Calm - I know this is often easier said than done. By staying calm, you are teaching your child how to function in life. You have to model emotional regulation when frustration arrises.
Breathe - Have them stop for a minute and take some deep breaths. It will help their brain refocus.
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