Mornings are getting brisker, sweaters are out in the stores, and your kids are getting restless. Back-to-school season is here, and with it comes new friends, new routines, and new challenges for families. It’s easy to jump into the first day of school like it’s just another day, but taking a few things into consideration might make the transition smoother for your family.
Pass Responsibility Over to Your Kiddo
Much of the school-morning stress comes from adults having to wrangle their children. “Why aren’t you wearing shoes? Where’s your homework? Come on, it’s time to go! Grab your breakfast!” Try setting a new routine this school year. Give your child an alarm clock and a watch, and create a visual schedule for them. Let them decide how long they need to do each step of the process, and adjust the timing accordingly. Then, try as hard as you can to step back and let them flourish or flounder with this new independence. Adjust, if necessary, but let them know this is a big responsibility, and that you know they are ready for it now that they’re growing up!
Build Conversation Into Your Day
Conversation and communication is a critical part of success in the classroom, and one way to set your child up for success is by practicing open and healthy communication in your home! Try asking questions that tap into their feelings, like asking something that made them laugh really hard at school today, or something that made them feel frustrated. In the morning, you could ask about something they want to share with a friend, or what part of the day they’re dreading. If they know they can share those ideas with you safely and can count on you for compassionate responses, they’ll be more likely to share similar thoughts with teachers and friends.
Create a “Drop-Zone”
At school, your child probably has a locker or a cubby. At home, they have a full house! It’s easy to let things get scattered when there’s no clear spot where items belong. Try creating a “Drop-Zone” – a small table works well for this. Hang a hook next to it for their backpack, and put paper trays for parent documents and daily homework. A clipboard and pen will make it easy for them to take their work to the couch or bed, but make it an expectation in your home that all schoolwork will return to the “Drop-Zone” before bedtime so everything is prepared for the morning.
Review Summer Work
There are two usual methods for completing summer homework. Some children get it out of the way in June, right after school ends (motivated by themselves, or by their parents). Others wait until the weekend before school starts back in September and rush through the reading as quickly as possible. Neither of those groups have a strong understanding of the concepts covered in the homework on the first day of school! Review their summer reading or homework with them, and try to ask some of the same broad questions their teachers will ask – “What happened in this book? What did you learn from this book? What were your favorite parts?” They’ll be prepared to make a great first impression on their teachers with their thoughts about the summer work fresh in their minds.
Listen to some fun music!
It can be hard for everyone, including adults, to get back into a routine of waking up early after some time off. Try listening to some fun jams in the morning, and even sometimes having a mini dance party in the kitchen, to get everyone’s energy up before the commute and the start of the day. Spotify has some great morning-themed playlists, if you’d like some inspiration, or ask your kids to contribute their favorite songs to add to your rotation.
Contact the Nanny Authority today!
At the Nanny Authority, our experienced nannies are familiar with tips and tricks to make your kids’ transition to school as easy as possible. To learn more about how we can assist in your search for a professional nanny, contact us via e-mail or at 973-466-2669 today.