Time for School!

Posted by Bryan Smith, Boys Town Press Author and Elementary School Counselor on Aug 13th 2018

Summertime is exciting! Family vacations, big sleepovers, and days at the pool. But, if you’re anything like me, summertime flies by too fast. Before you know it, the first day of school is right around the corner. Will your family be ready?

It can be hard to switch from your family’s fun summer schedule back to your school schedule. Follow these 5 tips to get your family back into their school routine.

1. Backup bedtimes. During the summer, children get used to going to bed late and sleeping in. With school starting, both of these habits need to change. Make an attainable goal to help change your child’s mindset. Everyone needs to feel some type of success to have buy-in. If your children have been going to bed an hour or two later than normal, start backing up their bedtime by 15 minutes each day and waking them up 15 minutes earlier. This will help their bodies adjust and ensure they get a full night of sleep before the first day of school.

2. Time to get reacquainted with reading daily, writing, and practicing math facts. In a perfect world, your child will have read over the summer, practiced math facts, and written about their day or written letters to family members to keep in practice for school. But for many, that didn’t work out. 

Now is a great time to start ramping up. Have your child read daily. It’s not too late to write a letter to a friend or family member, talking about the summer and your child’s favorite adventure! And use your daily tasks as an opportunity to help kids remember some of the things they learned during school – measure ingredients for a recipe, count by 5s, 10s, etc., figure out how much time is left before practice or a game, or multiply measurements to make a recipe larger or smaller. A good rule of thumb is to spend approximately 10 minutes per grade 1-6, up to an hour (or more!), reading, writing, and practicing math facts.

3. Help your child get organized. This includes getting their school supplies and picking out their first day of school outfit. Make sure you let your child take part in these decisions. This will help teach your child to make decisions and solve problems on their own. 

4. Set up playdates and monitor their interactions. Teach your child to take turns and share with others. Remind children how to disagree appropriately with others. Not only will this help your child make new friends, but it will set an expectation for how you want him or her to act at school. 

5. Talk to your children about starting a new school year. Encourage them to share their excitement about the new school year, but also try to eliminate any fears or anxieties that your children might have. Changing someone’s mindset when it comes to fears can take time. Remember, perception is reality. Even if you don’t think their fears are real, make sure you recognize them. But, don’t spend too much time on them. Remind your children that you’re there to help if needed. Stay positive!

Check out my book, Mindset Matters, for more tips on creating a positive mindset in your household this school year. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2018-2019 school year.