Back to School Adjustment Tips for Children
Ease the Transition from Lazy Days of Summer to School Days
By: Kelby Carr on: Sat 21 of Jul, 2007 [14:53 UTC] (4187 reads)
Back to school is a hard time for children. They must go from sleeping in, staying up late and relaxing to a strict schedule and rigorous learning. It can also be emotionally trying on children, as they adjust to spending time with few friends to the large social scale of school. Here are tips for helping children adjust to going back to school.
Subscribe to Type-A Mom articles
Before Back to School
At least a couple weeks before your child goes back to school, help them transition back into a school time routine. Start getting them up early, and be sure they have a consistent bed time closer to that of school nights.
You might even consider having them get dressed, even in play clothes, in the morning as they would on a school day. You could also make the day more structured, of your child stays at home. Start a schedule of activities, perhaps with craft time in the morning, lunchtime at a set time, reading in the afternoon, and so on.
Also, talk frequently about their return to school with excitement. Ask them what class they will enjoy the most, or have them help wash, fold or hang, and organize their back to school clothes. Take your child when you go to buy back to school supplies, and talk about what each supply's purpose is.
Get them ready for some of the classwork. Review reading and math essentials from last year, but in a relaxed, no pressure manner.
The Night Before Going Back to School
Talk to your child about any feelings they have about returning to school. Encourage them to talk about their emotions. Let them take charge of the conversation as much as possible.
Try to focus on the positives, but also acknowledge their worries. Ask which friends they are most excited about seeing again. If it's their first time at school, or at a new school, talk about the fun of meeting new kids.
See which things concern your child the most. Are they afraid their friends will be mean to them? Is there a bully they are afraid of seeing again. Are they afraid they will do poorly in class? Provide constructive, but realistic and easy-to-understand advice for those situations.
Also say that you understand, and confess that you, too, had similar concerns whenever you returned to school.
After Going Back to School
After your child goes back to school, don't assume the adjustment is done. There will probably be a few weeks in which your child transitions into the school routine.
Your child will also have new teachers, and perhaps even new children. Odds are good some of his or her old friends are now in a different class, and different children are in the current classes.
Talk to your child frequently about the changes, the challenges of new school work, and the pace of the new school year. Also, it will help your child if you are always consistent about routine.
You might feel badly that your child is having a tough time with mornings and be tempted to let him or her sleep in. In the long run, it is actually easier for your child if you stick to the same rules each day.
Most of all, think to any major change in your own life, such as a new job, a new move or when you first had your child, and focus on that to help you gain empathy and understanding for your child's transition.