It’s that time of year again already! Many children (and parents) are a little apprehensive about the first day of school. Here are a few simple steps you can take to ease their minds and help them get ready and excited for the new school year:
Re-establish a routine: a consistent schedule is so important for kids, especially in the evenings. A week or more before school starts, get back into the habit of earlier bedtimes and re-establish quiet evening activities such as a fun learning activity, regular dinner and bath times, and reading before bed.
Encourage their independence: children who play an active role in preparing for back to school, such as choosing and organising school supplies and books, are more likely to get excited about the new school year. Daily, age-appropriate tasks to help you around the house will also will help your child gain independence.
Talk about it: reassure children that being a little nervous is ok and natural. Let them express their fears or worries, and seek out stories that address this topic. Also review outdoor safety rules together, such as looking both ways before crossing the street.
Limit screen time: going back to school is a great opportunity to re-establish screen time limits. Find some ways to engage as a family without technology, such as board games, reading aloud, or fun fitness activities.
Find time to learn together through play: you can reinforce the idea that learning is fun by playing educational games together, reading together, or exploring nature outside. Re-cap what you have learnt together afterwards, to ensure they realise that as well as having fun, they have learnt something new - just like in school!
If they are new to school, here is a great article recommending some great books that might give reassurance and help make this big milestone a little less overwhelming: https://www.juniormagazine.co.uk/education/five-great-books-for-starting-school/ and here is another useful article with more ideas for easing back to school jitters: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx