The summer of 2021 is swiftly coming to an end. Soon it will be time for our kids to pack away the swimwear and pull out their backpacks.
As we take our final vacations, we look ahead to the coming months. If you have school-age children, you may be wondering how to prepare them for the upcoming school year.
After all, this year may be especially challenging for your children due to the ongoing pandemic. While some students returned back to the classroom last year, others haven’t been in a classroom in more than 18 months.
Now is the time to help them get ready for what’s to come. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare your child for a successful school year.
1. Review Key Skills From the Previous School Year
A report by the American Education Research Journal found that students can lose up to 39% of the skills learned during the previous year. That’s why it is important to keep your child engaged in meaningful activities all year long.
Summer is a time for fun. So, it’s understandable if your child has been focusing on playing and relaxing more than reading books. Taking time off from a stressful school year is essential for your child’s mental well-being.
If your child has forgotten a few skills, all is not lost. Just dedicate a few weeks before school starts and at the beginning of the year to review last year’s skills with your children.
The following list of learning software can help.
- Khan Academy Kids
- Homer Learn & Grow
- Epic – Kids’ Books & Reading
- Endless Reader
- Monster Math
- Hooked on Phonics Learning
- Prodigy: Kids Math Game
2. Discuss School Safety Tips
When your children leave your home, they should have a general sense of how to take care of themselves. Talking to your children about the following ways to stay safe throughout the school day is essential.
1. School Bus Safety Tips – Kids should remain at least 5 feet from the street or curb. Remind kids to be on the lookout for strangers, cars and other potential dangers while at the bus stop. Tell your kids to alert the bus driver if they have any safety concerns.
2. Walking Safety Tips – Children should only walk to school without supervision when they are ready. Teach them to pay attention to traffic and obey traffic rules. During inclement weather, arrange for your child to be transported to school.
3. Bullying Safety Tips – Show your kids how to recognize physical and verbal abuse from their peers. Teach your children how to stand up for themselves without being violent. Tell them to report bullying incidents to you, a teacher or an administrator.
4. COVID Safety Tips – Show your kids how to properly wash their hands. Wear clean cloth or disposable masks. Urge your children not to swap their masks with other children. If your child is sick, keep them at home until they feel better.
3. Enforce Strict Bedtimes and Nightly Routines
Depending on the age, children may require up to 10 hours of sleep each night. In the summer, many children go to sleep and wake up at different times. Before the school year starts, implement bedtimes for your children and stick to them.
Remove all portable electronic devices from their room. That way, your children won’t be tempted to turn them on when they get bored or restless. Turn off the television at bedtime. It’s okay for your child to listen to soft music that can relax them into a deep sleep.
4. Create a Calendar of Events and Chores
It is never too early for children to learn how to manage their responsibilities. Creating a family and school calendar lets children take ownership of their lives. It also teaches them how to plan ahead and become good managers of their time.
A child-friendly calendar can include:
- Colorful Pictures and Stickers
- Time for Relaxation and Fun Activities
- Recurring events
- Chores and School Events
- Homework Reminders
5. Talk About Back-to-School Anxiety
Students of all ages can be anxious about the first day of school. This is especially true for children who are attending new schools. For some children, the anxiety can become overwhelming.
When your child gets anxious, try to remain calm. Be sure to discuss the anxiety with your child. You should know that it can take several discussions to ease your child’s worries. Let patience be your guide.
Sources of back-to-school anxiety can include:
- The Pandemic
- School Bullies
- New Teachers and Expectations
Whether your children are in preschool or high school, returning back to school will definitely be different this year. Implement these tips to help your children have a successful year in school.
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Interested in exploring helpful resources about raising successful children?
- Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker
- Discipline Your Kids With Positive Parenting: A Practical Guide to Building Cooperation and Connecting With Your Child by Nicole Libin PhD
- Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids by Hunter Clarke-Fields MSAE
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