3 Secrets to Easy Transition Back to School
1- Forming Habits and Routines
For kids, summer time means going to bed late and sleeping in some mornings.
Getting up and getting ready early for school can be very challenging.
To avoid many frustrations and morning battles during the first week of school, you may want to try the following:
- Bedtime routine: A few days before school starts, reestablish the kids’ bedtime routine. Begin 3 nights before the first day of school. The transition schedule may look like this:
- Start their bedtime routine 15 minutes earlier each night for 3 nights before the first day of school. This helps kids get into the habit of rising early gradually.
- An example of a transition schedule: If you want the kids bedtime to be at 8:30 every night once school starts, and they are used to going to sleep around 9:15 during the summer months…Three nights before school begins, start the bedtime routine at 9 p.m., then the next night, at 8:45, and the last night before school begins, at 8:30. The kids will have an easier time going to bed at 8:30 on the first night of school.
- *note: some kids may need more time to make an adjustment. It is OK to begin this transition schedule 5 nights before school begins, instead of only 3 nights.
- Morning Routine: Summer may have been filled with days that had little to no structure or consistent routine for some kids. Transitioning to a well-structured morning routine can be made easy by providing kids a clear guide:
- A simple checklist! – Make it short, sweet and easy to understand. An example of a checklist for a morning routine may include: Wash up, hair, get dressed, breakfast, pack lunch and get backpack (of course the list items depend on your child’s age and skill level).
- The best way to establish a morning routine is to practice it once or twice before the first day – make a game out of it and have fun!
- Your first day (and your child’s first day) back to school will be much smoother as a result of having a structure routine and some practice. Why? Because kids have an easier time with transitions when they know what to expect and how to handle change (just like adults).
2- Motivating kids successfully
It’s the first week of lessons and homework after a couple of months of summer fun!
Finding your kid lacks motivation?
Try these simple strategies to help motivate your child to do school work:
- Help kids define goals. For example: “complete math homework and do 20 minutes of reading”, could be part of your child’s goals for the evening.
- Set incentives. Help your child choose a simple reward that he/she may want to”earn” when a goal is met.
- Guide your child to complete his/her goal and EARN the incentive (or reward)! Tell them, “First, finish math homework, then play.”
3- Communication is key!
Do you want to reduce your stress during this important transition time?
I don’t mean just with your kids…I mean, with the school(s).
The better informed you are before the school year begins, the less stress you’ll feel. The better you SHARE information with your kids’ school, the better it is for you, your kids and the school. Everyone would have a better understanding of what to expect before the transition back to school.
Dr. Sherkat is a parent strategist who is available to do Parent Education Workshops, either Private or PTA Sponsored Classes.
Contact her at 425-772-6698.