Tips to Help Your Child and Family get “Back To School”
It is that special time of year again. A time of new beginnings
as we close another summer chapter and start a brand new school
year. Summer can be a magical time for children. It is a time
for many to relax schedules, play, soak in some sunshine, grow,
and most importantly… rest. The fall is an exciting time filled
with anticipation for a healthy and productive school year.
It can also present many challenges for families as they attempt
to adjust to a more demanding schedule and meet the needs of
everyone in the household.
Here are some ideas:
Talk to your child. This helps them to process their feelings
about what they have experienced and what they are looking forward
to in their world.
- Remember all of the fun activities from summer. Often
times, talking about recent experiences helps them to look
forward to and transition into new ones (encourages an understanding
of time and change).
- What is your favorite thing about school? Why?
- Who are your friends? What do you like to do at recess?
- What do you think of your class this year? Classroom?
- Do a timeline of his/her day. What did you do before
lunch? After lunch? After school?
Prepare physically for the demands of school.
- Set a good daily routine. Help your child develop an
awareness of schedules and why they are important. This
helps children transition to new tasks and provides structure
and security in their world.
- Set a bedtime routine and stick to it. Kids thrive when
they are well rested. They are better able to attend and
focus in class, stay healthier, and are generally happier
during the day. (9-12 hours of sleep a night is optimal
for growing children).
- Provide healthy snacks and meals and try to have a set
mealtime for the family.
- Include appropriate grooming (bathing, oral hygiene,
washing hands) habits in your routine as well.
Back to SCHOOL. An applied learning activity helps children
to recall what they already know and build upon it. It also
fosters a sense of achievement and confidence when learning
new things. Help your child see him/her self as a learner.
- Try to read every day with your child. Take turns reading
a favorite book. Ask him/her questions about what is being
read. Look at pictures and talk about what is happening
in the picture (try to guess what
will happen next).
- Talk about the weather (science and nature). What will
the weather be like today? In a month? In two months? What
will be happening outside? Fall is a very exciting time
to explore and learn about the changing seasons.
- When you are in your neighborhood, talk about signs
you see, identify familiar things such as objects, street
signs, and neighbors. When walking or driving home, let
your child direct you.. “Which way do we turn next?”
- While at the grocery store, read the signs on the rows,
read labels, read everything! Talk about grouping and why
products are where they are and not somewhere else in the
store. This helps children to build an awareness of order
and ultimately supports problem solving in different situations.
- Go on everyday math and science adventures! Talk about
numbers and use different objects around the house to count,
add, multiply and divide. Ask questions like: How many more
will make 10? If I eat 5 how many will be left? When cutting
a pie, talk about fractions and percentages. When cooking,
read and follow recipe directions, talk about measurement,
and the science of cooking and baking. What makes things
freeze? What is a solid? What is a liquid?
- Build a calendar with your child! Kids LOVE visual stimuli
and it will also help you to keep track of special events
and activities. Pull out the school year calendar and write
in all of the half days, holidays, and special events. You
can even include what lunch is served at school each day.
Use your imagination and have fun with the activity! It
helps with counting, days of the week, and months of the
year. They will take pride in marking off days of the week
and have a way to look forward to special occasions. It
also helps them to process what has happened in their world
and prepare for what is next.
Meet the needs of your entire family. Your children are not
the only ones who are experiencing a life change. A new school
year can bring about added stress with changes in schedules
and demands that your whole family must adjust to.
- Plan an activity for the entire family to look forward
to on an evening or weekend. The fun does not have to be
over just because summer has come to an end.
- Make sure you know the schedules of other family members.
Everyone seems to have lots things to do. Add these activities
to your calendar.
- Set a time (and place) for your family to be together
each day (ex. mealtime) so you can connect with each other
about things that are important.
- Everyone get your rest and do your best to make healthy
Many warm wishes for a healthy and productive September and
About the Author
Tracy works part time as a school psychologist and is also
distributor for Gourmet To Go where you can find some fantastic
quick and easy food mixes. For more information about
purchasing these products or becoming a distributor, please
her website or