Transitioning from all the free time of summer to the strict schedule of school can be taxing on some families. You may have children who don't do well with routine changes or you may just have stubborn kids who don't want to go back! Here are some tips to make it easier for the whole family:
1. Get organized! A fun idea is doing a 'color of the year' for each child, that they choose themselves. You coordinate backpacks/folders/pencil pouches/lunchboxes, etc, all in their chosen color. This makes it easier for them to be independent and pack for school every day, and it makes things much more fun!
2. Seriously - get organized! Take a simple picture of everything they need in their backpack before they leave for school. Laminate it with their name on the other side, and attach to back pack as a simple check -list. This is a great way to teach responsibility to young children!
3. Re-establish routines. Start your new routine the week before school starts to transition to earlier bedtimes and routines. Most teens need around 9 ½ hours and most toddlers need 11 hours a night. Getting back into a routine takes several weeks, so the earlier you start, the easier the transition will be.
4. Be prepared. The day before going to school, sit down and have an information meeting to go over exactly what is going to happen, even if you've gone over it 100+ times before. It never hurts to keep them as in-the-know as possible! "You will wake up at 6:30, get dressed, eat breakfast, then I will drive you to school and walk you to your classroom. We will meet your teacher, then you will get to play with other kids.” Make sure to stick to this routine as much as possible once it's been established.
5. Review the Do's and Don'ts of At-School Behavior. A simple run-down of the rules lets them know what to expect, even if they've been to school before. "No talking in halls, raise your hand if you have a question, etc." Discuss what good manners at school look like.
6. Attend orientation to visit your child’s teacher and allow them to see their classroom. This will ease anxiety about the unexpected!
There are always going to be bumps in the road but the more you prepare ahead, the easier the transition will be! We at Jones hope you have a GREAT 2016-2017 school year!