By Tracy Martin-Turgeon
Summer is a time for fun, going to the beach, camp, and other fun activities. Routines generally stay the same; however children are usually allowed to stay up later than they do during the school year and activities are usually different than in the winter and fall. As summer winds down it is time to get back on a school schedule. By easing your child slowly into a regular schedule can be less stressful for everyone. Here are some tips that can help parents to prepare their children to get ready to go back to school.
Get Back to Basics
· Bedtime is usually the hardest. When children have been in bathing suits for days on
end. If your child was allowed to stay up to 9:00 pm but bed time is usually 8:00pm, send them to bed at 8:45 for a couple of nights, then 8:30 and so on until you reach their regular bed time
during the school year.
· The last few weeks of summer have your child get back into the school day rhythm. Set your alarm clock for the same time each morning. Have your child get up and get ready just as if they were going to school.
· Plan some activities during the week to go out. Once everyone is ready go to the park, the beach or even just for a walk. Leaving the house is as just important as getting up and ready.
· Shop early for supplies, clothes, lunch boxes, etc. Have a game plan; if your child is old enough have them sort out clothes that they want to wear the first week. Being prepared ahead of time takes the stress for your child and you. Plan ahead for sick days how will you handle these situations as well as a pick people that can step in when you can’t.
· This can be hard; but you want to nurture independence by letting your child be involved in the process for school even if they are young will help prepare them for an easier transition for a new school, first time going to school, or a new classroom.
Prepare Teachers, School and You
· Let teachers and the school know about any specific behaviors, allergies, medications, IEPs, or anything new either that happened over the summer or if this is your child’s first time at this school.
· As the parent you want to find out about your child’s school. Some schools will have tours before school starts in the summer. Plan a visit to find out where your child’s classroom is, who the teacher will be, where exits are, if they are taking a bus where do they get off and what information is needed. If your child will be attending a child care facility or an afterschool program, plan to attend and take your children with you so they can meet the teachers. If the child care will be transporting to school and picking up ask what time the van leaves, what information does the school need, and any other information that is
Keep Routines Smooth
· Once your children start school, make sure the routines continue. Set up snack time after school, and a time and place for homework. To avoid daily battles, make homework part of their everyday routine. Make sure the same time and place in your home is consistent. If you have younger children that do not have homework yet, you can still do this with a simple game, coloring, or sensory project. By establishing this at an early age this will help your children ease into homework time a lot easier. This will give you time to prepare dinner and any other chores, as well as some quality time with your child to find out how their day went.
The main key is consistency. Keeping routines the same such as homework, dinner, bath and bed, children need structure and consistency. If they know what to expect than you have less battles and more constructive time to spend with your child. Don’t forget to be involved in parent teacher conference, keeping up to date what is going on in school. Before you know it summer will be back.
Resources: WebMD, Parenting, and Kabose
Tracy Martin-Turgeon has been in the field of early childhood education for 22 years. She started with The Children's Workshop in September 1999 as an assistant director for and has since served as director, regional, and currently as a VP regional overseeing seven facilities throughout MA and RI. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Early Childhood education from the University of RI. In her role, Tracy enjoys most supporting and helping the staff, families, and children she works with every day. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and children.
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