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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? Teacher?
  • 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 choices.

Many warm wishes for a healthy and productive September and school year!

About the Author

Tracy works part time as a school psychologist and is also a
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 visit her website or e-mail her.




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