Back to School Butterflies:
It’s that time of year again where you are either bursting with excitement to get your children back to school and out of your hair, or you are dreading the usual scenario of kicking and screaming as you drag your child into the car while they cry and perform in upset against their imminent return back to the schoolyard. Parents the world over face this year in and year out and it can be a very stressful way to start the year. Here are some tips to make the transition from holiday to homework a whole lot easier.
This is one of the best ways to get ahead and get your kids back in the game easily and at a steady pace. Before the school year begins ease your children back into their sleep schedules and swop the sugar laden festive feasting for healthier options. Plan the first week of school and make sure to add in some fun activities such as a play date or a trip for ice cream to make things a little less painful.
Include your child
As crazy as this may seem, take your children with to shop for school supplies. Let them choose their own back to school stationery, back packs and lunch boxes as this will help to encourage them to get excited for the new year ahead and all that is to come. Ensure that you make a back to school checklist for yourself and your children so that you don’t miss out on anything and feel rushed at the last minute.
Communication is Key
Have a casual conversation, perhaps at the dinner table, and ask your child(ren) how they feel about the school year ahead. What they want to achieve academically, in sports and where they would like to improve. Motivate them to set goals and put incentives and little rewards into place for when they attain each goal. This will have your children eager to get back and start things in the right way.
Set aside the distractions
The last thing any parent wants is for their child to start the school year on a good note and then to slide right back into holiday mode, lying around and watching TV all afternoon. Allow your children time each afternoon to relax for twenty minutes after school so that they can eat lunch and reset their brains, and then it’s off to homework and study time. Set up a strict routine for the weekdays and stick with it. This will enable your children to learn to prioritize their tasks and get into the habit of putting their schoolwork first.
Make family time
As busy as life can be, you have to enforce family time. Make the effort to sit down at the dinner table, not in front of the TV, and discuss each family member’s day. Engage with your children and listen to what they have to say. Enjoy their daily anecdotes as they share their lives with you. This is also a great way to stay connected with your children, which is absolutely vital when considering the challenges children and teenagers are facing today.
Get ready the night before
The first morning when school starts is inevitably a mad rush, but it does not have to be. Get the family organized and let your kids pack their bags and put their uniforms out the night before, so as to avoid a crazy atmosphere the morning of. Assign little tasks to each family member, such as putting out cereal bowls, fruit for lunches, coffee mugs and placing packed school bags by the front door to grab and go on the way. If you can turn this into a daily habit you will save loads of time moving forward into the term.
Assign a Study Buddy
Most kids today need a helping hand when it comes to staying on track with the amount of school work, projects and tests hurled at them from the get go. There is simply not enough time in the day to sit down and tear your hair out while you try, in vain, to help your poor child understand trigonometry at 9 ‘o clock on a Wednesday evening. Opt for the smarter choice and enlist the help of a professional and experienced tutor to ensure your child keeps up to date and aces their tests from the start. Give your child a head start and sign them up with a tutor from a reputable tutoring company, such as Gutsy Tutoring, and watch them soar.
Take a Deep Breath
Keep in mind that you are an example to your children. If you are anxious and stressed about the beginning of the school year, they will pick up on your emotions and internalize them. Try to create an atmosphere of calm and excitement at the start of the new school year. This is especially important for children who are usually resistant about school or prone to stress. If you are positive they will be too, and that’s half the battle won.
Here’s to a great start to the new year and to remembering that each day is a new beginning and an opportunity for you and your children to improve and achieve wonderful things.