You can make a difference in how your child transitions from summer to school year. Joyce Wilson of Teacher Spark shares her secrets. (Don't forget to click the links. They are great!)
"Getting kids and teens ready for a new school year can be quite the chore. However, if your child is prone to anxiety, you still can prepare your child for a successful new school year. Here are ways to plan for a peaceful season.
Adjust Schedules Early
One of the hardest parts of adjusting to a new school year is getting used to a new schedule. All those late summer nights and sleeping in during the day can make getting up for school a challenge for kids. Suddenly, starting a new schedule can also cause feelings of anxiety in children, and parents too. The best bet for keeping your kids on track is to stick to a routine earlier in the summer. Set normal bedtime that coincides with their upcoming school schedule and stick to it all summer long. Summer camps and vacation bible school are a wonderful way to keep your children in the routine of socializing and staying active throughout the day.
Get Them Some Good Gear
If you want to get your kid excited, instead of anxious, about going back to school, try taking them shopping for some new gear and school supplies. Even investing in a few tech pieces such as a laptop or headphones, can make getting back to class more fun for kids, and less stressful for parents. If you have a younger child who'll be playing online games or doing online exercises as part of their schoolwork or if you have an older child who listens to music while doing homework, a good set of headphones is a solid back-to-school gear investment. Giving them headphones will keep their tech noise from annoying you, or distracting other children in your home. Many options are relatively inexpensive, and a decent pair can be found for less than $100.
Makeover Their Mornings
Mornings can feel pretty hectic when the new school year starts. But you can keep your mornings stress-free by taking time during the summer to set a good morning schedule. First, make sure kids get up at the same time each day, and get to bed early enough at night. Lack of sleep can cause more anxiety for children and impair their health in other ways. To better prepare for mornings, set aside time on Sundays, after church, to get a few things ready for the coming week. Next, put together some outfits, make sure any assignments are complete and get backpacks all packed before the morning rush begins. If getting your kids to eat a healthy breakfast is a challenge, try prepping some kid-friendly overnight oats or other breakfast items to have on hand for busy weekday mornings.
Set Up a Space for Quiet Time
School can be stressful enough, so it’s helpful to provide calm and quiet at home for your children. You can even set up a dedicated space for prayer or quiet contemplation, to help your children wind down in the evenings after school. Choose a room or area that is free of distractions like televisions or laptops. Sit with your children and guide them in this contemplation time or encourage them to practice this time on their own using guided meditations. Put a comfy cushion or chair in your space and use calming scents to help your family relax.
Getting organized and staying positive are the keys to preparing your kids and teens for a prosperous new school year. With some planning, support and prayer, you can be sure your kids are ready to handle any challenges the new school year brings. So maintain your schedules, makeover your mornings and make sure your kids have their best year yet."
Our guest author, Joyce Wilson, is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on TeacherSpark. She is passionate about teaching and loves using her writing to help teachers, parents, and students. www.teacherspark.com.