As the first day of school gets closer and closer we wanted to help you out with 5 more tips for helping with the transition from summer to school. You can read our first 5 tips here. We know you and your child are going to rock this school year!
- Make a daily and weekly schedule. While most kids do really well when on a schedule, transitioning from a less structured schedule during summer to more structured days during the school year can be difficult. Additionally, transitioning from less structured weekends to weekdays can become difficult during school, especially early on during the school year as your child is still getting used to their new schedule. Having a schedule laid out for your child can be really helpful. If your child is not yet reading using pictures is a great way to help them better understand the schedule. This schedule can be as detailed or as loose as you would like – every family has different needs! For younger children, a weekly schedule may be as simple as laying out a weekly calendar that has “school” and “no school” on it so your child develops a better understanding of school days versus weekends. A daily schedule may be a bit more detailed (e.g. wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, take bus, school, soccer, home, dinner, homework, bath, brush teeth, read, bedtime, etc.).
- Keep up with summer friends by signing up for activities with them. As a kid one of the hardest parts of transitioning back to school was not being able to see all of my “summer friends” – those I saw at camp, the neighborhood playground, or other activities – on a regular basis because we went to different schools. If this is true for your child too you can help them out by coordinating with other parents and meeting at a weekly class or activity in the middle. The extracurricular classes will benefit your child in a multitude of ways and they’ll get to keep in touch with people who are important to them!
- Allow your child to pick their lunch or snack each week. A lot of the difficulty for children transitioning from summer to the school year is the loss of control. During summer children tend to have a lot more control over their lives – how their time is spent, what they wear, and who they spend their time with. These things are much more controlled during the school year. Finding areas of your child’s life where you can give them a little bit more control during the school year may help make the transition easier. One of the ways to do this is to allow your child to pick their lunch or snack each week (or day, depending on how shopping and making meals works in your family). You don’t have to give your child full control of this and can give them a choice between a few parent-approved options. This may seem small, but can make a big difference in a child’s day!
- Limit screen time. As there’s more free time during summer your child was likely able to spend more time on the tablet, computer, phone, or TV during the day. While research suggests limiting screen time all of the time, it can be especially helpful during the week when school is in session to ensure that your child has enough time for homework, extracurriculars, and most importantly – sleep! Waking up early during the school year means that your child should be going to bed a bit earlier too to ensure that they are getting enough sleep, which is essential for success at school. For some tips on how to reduce screen time read our article here.
- Keep weekends fun. Now that your child’s weekday is primarily spent at school making the most of their weekends is essential! This may mean laying low all weekend or moving without stopping depending on your child and family. Regardless of your family’s preference for speed and activity level, there’s definitely a class or activity your child will enjoy – and the best part about signing your child up for weekend classes or activities is that it will give you an hour or two of much needed free time too!