Five Things to Think about Now to Get Your Child Ready for Back to School
The lazy days of summer allow children a change of pace, increased opportunities to pursue personal interests, and more family time. All important and worthy pursuits! As summer starts to wind down, I find my mind turning towards the start of school for our Fay students and my family. Being intentional about how we start school can set us up for success that will carry on throughout the year.
Here are my top five tips to help your family start the school year right:
- Routines: Where will shoes and backpacks go when you come home after school? Having a system to take care of things like this will make sure you are not cleaning up messes after your children go to bed. Setting out tomorrow’s clothes and packing backpacks are two chores you can do together at night to make sure your early mornings are smooth and relaxed. Consider piloting these routines in the weeks before school starts. This will make the big day not so shocking to the system!
- Responsibility: What can your child be responsible for during the school year? Contributing to family life such as packing school lunches, feeding pets, or unloading the dishwasher help children feel like an important member of the family, teach them skills, and help you not be overburdened with chores.
- Homework: When and where will it get done? Your family may have certain evenings consumed with activities. Help your child think about planning the week to accommodate all priorities. Maybe more homework can be done one night than another. Do not forget how important nightly reading is to your child’s academic development. It can also be special family time.
- Bedtime: What will you do to make sure your child is well-rested? The American Academy of Pediatrics says elementary-aged children need about eleven hours of sleep. Getting that eleven hours most nights means your child’s brain is primed for learning! Turning off screens an hour before bedtime, a warm bath, and a bedtime story go a long way to get your child’s mind and body ready for sleep.
- Excitement: How can you build your child’s excitement about the new school year? A special dinner, new school uniform fashion show, a new backpack, setting up a homework station, or writing a letter to their new teacher are a few ways to build anticipation about the new year.
Every family is different. What works for one family might not work for yours. Find traditions and routines that are meaningful and helpful to you. Most importantly, share your love of learning with your child. Sharing what you are currently learning about or a positive school story from your childhood will get your child excited to dive into their new school life. Your enthusiasm is contagious! With a little preparation, the transition back to school can be a great time to examine and improve upon the routines and procedures that keep our homes running smoothly. Over the summers, at Fay, faculty, and staff are all thinking about how best to launch each year by preparing classrooms, greeting new faces, and learning about any new curricula. Each summer is full of excitement as we prepare to greet our students at our annual “Meet the Teacher” event!
About the Author: This is Melissa’s first year as Fay’s principal, but as the mother of two teenagers and almost twenty years in education, she has launched many successful school years. When she’s not learning and playing at Fay, she can be found eating her way through the vast number of great restaurants in Houston with her family or walking her rat terrier, Lulu.