Back To School Tips
Summer is in full swing, but it is never too early to start planning for the next school year. During the summer months, it is common to get out of the school routine, which can make starting the year more difficult. Here are a few tips to try during the summer to help make transitioning back to school easier.
Tip One - Stick To A Routine:
- Develop a morning routine: Often times kids get to sleep in a little later during the summer. Have them gradually get up earlier. Getting up 5 minutes earlier each day leading up to school can help on that first morning so that they do not feel the significant change in time.
- Develop a bedtime routine: Begin with turning off the electronics and having some quiet time to calm down before bed. Try to keep the bedtime the same in the summer as during the school year. This will not only help when going to sleep on school nights, but it will also help with getting up earlier in the morning.
- Practicing these routines throughout the summer will help your child be more independent with the various steps of getting up in the morning and going to bed at night, such as dressing, brushing teeth, eating, etc.
- Make visuals for the routine for children to follow. Using pictures can help children know what to do next when getting ready in the morning or going to bed at night.
- If you need help with developing these routines, talk to your therapist. They will be happy to help!
Tip Two - Going To School:
- The first day of school typically comes with nerves and anxiety. Let your child know that it is okay to be nervous.
- Before the first day, take your child to their school. Walk around the building so that they know where they will go inside each day. Let them see the playground. If you can go into the school, that is even better. Take them to places they will be throughout the day such as their classroom, the cafeteria, the gym, and the library.
- If possible, arrange a meeting with the teacher. Especially for children with additional needs, this can be very beneficial for the child, family, and teacher. This will allow the teacher to learn more about the child and the child to get to know the teacher.
- If the class roster is available, arrange a play-date with a classmate. This will allow your child to have friends who are in their class, which will help them look forward to going to school and be less nervous.
- Pick out a special outfit or special treat for the first day. This can sometimes help with being more excited when the first day comes.
Tip Three - Buy School Supplies Early:
- Get the list of school supplies from the school. This can help the child feel prepared for classes.
- Buying school supplies early also allows you to talk about the type of work they may be doing during the school year and their class schedule.
Tip Four - Limit Screen Time:
- Kids often have a lot more time to do what they want to do during the summertime, and this includes more time on tablets, phones, and TV. Set limits of the amount of time they are allowed each day. Set a timer so that the child knows exactly what that time limit is.
- Create rules that will apply during the school year. For example, the child can have 10 minutes of tablet time after reading a book. Rules like this will help motivate a child to do their homework or other chores. If these rules are in place during the summer, they will understand the expectation during the school year.
- Of course, limit screen time as much as possible. Try getting children involved in more activities so that they will not want to play as many video games or watch TV.
If you have other questions about helping your child transition back to school successfully, talk to your child’s therapists. They will be happy to provide individualized suggestions!