Excitement and dread are common feelings for both children and parents when back-to-school season arrives. No matter how much they look forward to seeing friends and wearing a new school wardrobe, children are often afraid of the changes a new school year brings—new teachers, increased workload, and a new schedule.
Fortunately, parents can do a lot to ease the transition from summer to school. In fact, when parents are involved in their children’s education, children tend to do better and have more positive feelings about going to school.
August is a good time to prepare for the upcoming school year while still savoring the joys of summer. Ace the summer to school transition with these simple tips.
1. Get a head start on your morning routine: If a child isn’t getting enough sleep, concentration and academic performance suffers. To prepare for early mornings, set a bedtime for your children a week before school starts. Likewise, start getting them out of bed around the same time they’ll need to be up to get ready for school.
2. Talk about first day of school jitters: Being nervous about the first day of school is normal. From new teachers to new friends to new schedules, the anticipation can be overwhelming. Remind your children of their past achievements and what they have to look forward to—from learning new material to starting extracurricular activities.
3. Enroll in a supplemental education program: Learning doesn’t have to stop when the bell rings. An academic enrichment program can help your children gain an advantage in the new school year. Kumon, the world’s largest after-school math and reading program, uses an individualized approach to help unlock the potential of children in preschool through high school. Through daily practice, children develop a solid command of math and reading skills by progressing at their own pace. Kumon is offering $50 off math registration at participating centers throughout the month of September.
4. Encourage a study buddy: Having a friend to visit the library with or to collaborate with on homework can help your children forge positive and supportive relationships with their peers. Before school begins, your children may want to begin thinking about who their study buddy could be.
5. Create a distraction-free study area: Now is the time to get organized! Ensure all distractions are removed and restock on necessities like paper, pencils, pens, erasers, and other study materials. Encourage your children to use the study area for activities like reading and writing in the weeks leading up to the start of school.
Learning always begins at home. Encouraging positive attitudes towards learning can help motivate your children to do well in school. Putting these practices in place now will help ease any back-to-school jitters your children (or even you) may have.
Sean Lyon is the Center Director for the Kumon of Chelsea. Learn more at kumon.com!