One of the most difficult aspects of the back-to-school experience is returning to the tried-and-true school routine of years past. Your student may refuse to leave her bed in the morning, drag her feet during breakfast, or struggle to focus during the day. Be compassionate, but be firm as well. She must go to school, and she must complete her homework. Here are several suggestions to aid you in returning to this transition.
Often, the school year arrives with schedules that are exponentially more complicated than those of the summer. Purchase a day planner for your child as part of her school supplies (if her school does not already provide one). There, she can list each day's homework, due dates for projects, and upcoming tests. Consider buying a family calendar so that you can note important events like field trips, holidays, parent/teacher conferences, etc. You cannot get back on schedule unless you know what that schedule is.
Remaining awake until the wee hours of the morning, and then sleeping until noon, is one perk of summer vacation. But this schedule ceases to work when your student must be at school and functioning by eight in the morning. Help your child adjust her sleep schedule early on so that she will have time to acclimate.
Do your best to ensure your family's morning routine is smooth. Arrange the following details well in advance: how your student will travel to school, whether she will bring or buy lunch, and what she will eat for breakfast. Ask your child to organize school supplies the evening before school begins so she can simply pick them up and be out the door the next morning. Avoid the mad scramble to locate notebooks or lunch money at the last minute. Send your student to her classroom feeling confident and prepared, not frazzled.
You may not have had to enforce quiet time over the summer, and once your child finishes school in the afternoon, she will likely wish to immediately slip back into her summer habits. So, be sure to insist upon dedicated homework time. Help her by arranging a quiet environment that is free of distractions, and by reminding your student that it is time to focus once more.
Much of the trouble that children face when easing back into the school routine stems from their reluctance to let the summer go. Remind your student of the aspects of school that she enjoys, whether that is seeing her friends, attending Spanish club, or playing on the soccer team. With her guidance, purchase school supplies, a new outfit, or a new lunchbox that she will be excited to use. Then, talk about her anxieties and brainstorm solutions for her concerns.
Happy new school year!
For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit www.varsitytutors.com.
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