Easing into a Back to School Routine by Carmine Barbetta (FB)
It’s time to start thinking about getting back to school, which means you need to get prepared. As much as you need to be prepared financially, you and your kids need to be ready for the new routines and expectations that come with every new school year.
Whether your child is going to kindergarten, middle school, or high school, the start of a new school year is a time of transition for everyone. Here are a few ways that you can make the transition easier:
If it’s your child’s first time attending school, one way to reduce anxiety is to role-play. This will give first-timers the chance to experience some of the things you expect them to encounter on the first day of school. Let them be “the teacher” and ask them how they feel about starting school. Often when children answer questions from a position of authority – even if it's make believe – they are more willing to honestly voice their concerns.
Understand the Rules
Knowing the rules will help your child avoid awkward and embarrassing situations. What's the dress code? Are electronics allowed at school? If so, when, where, and how can electronics be used? Can you call or text your child during the school day or do you have to communicate with them through the office? Get as much information as you can about the school’s rules before school starts.
Rehearse Your Kids’ Routines
Some school routines may need to be eased into over a period of time, so start early. For example, will your kids need to get up earlier or go to bed earlier once school starts? Will they be expected to make their own breakfasts or pack their own lunches? Other routines should be rehearsed, such as walking, biking, or riding the bus to school. Practicing new school routines will help make them second nature by the time school starts.
Ask Your Kids
One way to help make things go smoothly this school year is to let your kids have some input. For example, ask your child how they want to wake up for school. Do they prefer to use an alarm clock, do they prefer for you to wake them up, do they want the light turned on or the shades opened, etc. If your child's teacher has given out a class “wish list,” let your child be involved in the shopping. The same is true with school supplies. Keeping students invested in the process will keep them involved and excited about the new year.
Establish Your Routine
One of the most important things to do is to figure out what you need to do to get everyone out of the house on time. What time do you need to be up in the morning? Do you need to shower and dress before or after the kids leave for school? Do you need to make lunches the night before to save time in the morning? If you aren’t sure, try establishing your routine several days before school starts so you know what’s going to work and what’s not.
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