The summer is sadly coming to a close, and it’s time to get ready for the upcoming school year. The transition from summer living to the formal school year can be a difficult challenge for families because of many variables at play.
It means breaking into a new routine, letting go of the structure-free summer days, and students may have their own set of anxieties about approaching a new year, especially if it’s a jump from elementary to high school. It’s a big shift for families! But there are some things you can start doing now to help ease the transition back to the classroom. Enter September feeling rested, relaxed, and ready!
Here are some helpful hints to get your family back on track before everything starts up again.
1. Relish the remainder of summer: Perhaps it isn’t the most helpful advice for getting ready for September, but it’s still important to soak up the last bit of sun and squeeze in a few more beach days. Make the most of it! Kids are always happier returning to school if they have a wicked summer to brag about, and all the fresh air and exercise is beneficial in general.
2. Get organized: This is a tough one, but start getting the schedule firmed up as soon as possible. Plan out weekly activities. Get school supplies, lunch supplies, and any new items your family need for their first day. Is there paperwork you need to finish? A messy area in the house to reorganize? Try and get on top of it all before school officially starts, since September tends to be an especially busy month.
3. Re-establish routines: Use the last couple weeks of August to get back into a September-style rhythm. Try and work on a consistent wake up/get dressed time for mornings. Focus on eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks around the same time that your child will eat when school is in session. It’s also a great idea to get your kid doing something after breakfast, as this can really help break the habit of relaxing after breakfast. Once your child feels used to getting shuffled out the door, the first week back in class will be a breeze.
4. Create opportunities for independence: It’s your job to get your child to school, but in the classroom they are flying solo. The classroom leaves many things for them to manage on their own. As a parenting technique, it’s hugely effective to encourage your child to make decisions for themselves. Start by giving your child small tasks for them to be responsible for. Things like writing down assignments, bringing home homework, and organizing their schoolbags are great steps to teaching your child to be independent. The more basic needs that your child can meet without relying on an adult, the easier it will be for you and their teacher. Tasks as simple as tying shoes can help. And the big upside is that independent behaviors foster the development of maturity.
5. Create a school zone at home: Mitigate the struggles of getting child to do homework, and create a consistent space for schoolwork. The space doesnt have to be exclusively for homework, but creating a routine with homework will do wonders if your child is resistant. Even the kitchen table will work! Try and make yourself available for homework time, and keep in at the same time every day. You may be cooking dinner or reading the paper, but if you’re present you can jump in when they need a hand, and can make sure your child is actually doing the work.
6. Meet the teacher(s): Your child’s teacher is an invaluable resource! They will be able to tell you all kinds of helpful things, such as what to focus on for homework, and how to work on trouble spots with reading and math. This familiarity with who your child is working with day in and day out will be especially useful if any issues at home or school arise. Keeping communication open is important!
Go online for more helpful tips about preparing for the school year! We’re wishing our Halifax families luck as they prepare for September. Enjoy the summer while it lasts!
Written by Shila LeBlanc from Halifax Learning. With various locations in the city, Halifax Learning Centre offers many different programs to suit everybody’s needs – it’s more than just tutoring! For more information on programs like SpellRead, Momentum Math, French and more visit their website