Schools provide an environment for kids to learn academically and develop critical social skills. It’s also a place to have fun, but some children may not look forward to the early morning bus rides and hours of sitting still. Parents can use these eight tips to prepare for the school year and get everyone excited about their upcoming classes.
1. Say Goodbye to Summer
Summer gives kids more freedom than any other time of the year. They might experience a sense of grief as they deal with exchanging daily playdates and pool time for classrooms again. Their sadness might lead to irritable moods and heightened anxiety, so help them say goodbye to summer before it ends.
You might invite their friends over for one last party at the community pool or take them on a quick weekend trip to the beach. Talk with them about how it’s one last hurrah before school starts so they can process their feelings and move forward with lighter hearts.
2. Check For School Supply Lists
Every child needs to stock up on supplies before entering a new grade, but they won’t need the same things. Kindergarteners have no use for graphing calculators and high school students won’t need massive boxes of crayons. Consult your child’s school website for the lists they created for each grade.
You can also get ahead of the curve by reading about standard supplies that everyone will need, like pencils and erasers. General supply lists help students in traditional and virtual schools because they’ll all use loose-leaf paper and notebooks. Double-check with your child’s school so you don’t accidentally forget anything.
3. Color Code the Family Calendar
Whether your kids will participate in online classes or go to a public school, they’ll have important deadlines and activities to remember. Parents can color code the family calendar to keep track of essential plans and encourage their kids to start studying when exams approach. If anyone wonders what’s happening in the days and weeks ahead, they can locate their color on the calendar and quickly spot what’s most relevant to their school schedule.
4. Attend Back-to-School Night
Most schools have a back-to-school night. They usually aren’t mandatory, but they’re an excellent opportunity to make the campus less scary if your child will attend somewhere new. Walk them around the building to see where they’ll sit for classes and where they’ll eat in the cafeteria. When they venture around the place by themselves on the first day of school, they’ll be much more comfortable because they already walked around with you by their side.
5. Review School Rules Together
New grades mean new rules that every student has to learn. Review the rules together after receiving materials from their new teacher or campus. If your kids enroll in an online school, rules are even more critical. They might feel like they can act out or slack off more because they’re hanging out at home.
Establish rules like when they must start class every day and how they can’t wear pajamas while they work. You’ll create a school environment that keeps them in line or help them avoid trouble at their in-person school by reviewing the rules.
6. Shop the Latest Sales
Most stores have back-to-school sales when the summer ends. They know kids will need new clothes that they’ve outgrown and different styles to match their ever-changing personalities. Take your kids shopping and buy them a first-day-of-school outfit they’ll look forward to wearing. It makes the day extra special and takes their mind away from anxious thoughts.
7. Talk About Lunch Options
Children get to practice their independence during the school year, but they can have more choice over their lives before class ever begins. Teach them how to weigh their health and food preferences by talking about lunch options. They can pick what weekly meals they’ll pack in their lunchbox without sacrificing their health for processed foods because you’ll have the final say over what goes in your grocery cart.
8. Set New Educational Goals
Everyone goes to school, but kids might wonder why it’s necessary. They won’t care about the importance of a degree in the job market or their future income, so set new educational goals for the upcoming school year. They’ll find relatable reasons to focus on their grades and have a better time with their course material.
If your child’s first report card has all A’s, they can have a sleepover. If they complete their homework every night for a week without any reminders, they get a special dessert. Discuss potential rewards with them so they get excited about working hard. They’ll have a great time in school and understand that there are more reasons to pass math and spelling tests than eventually going to high school or college.
Prepare For the Upcoming School Year
Parents can use these eight tips to prepare for the school year before the last summer sunset ends your child’s seasonal vacation. Think about where they’ll take classes and what grade they’ll start to determine the most helpful strategies. Whether you let them pack their lunches or help organize the family calendar, everyone will have an easier time transitioning into another school year.