August 12, 2011 ~
With shorter days approaching and summer vacations ending, it is time to prepare for a new school year! During summer months, children can lose some of the structure and routine that accompanies the school year and can feel riddled with doubts and anxiety as the first day of school approaches. Additionally, new teachers, new friends, new classrooms and new subjects can feel overwhelming. Help your child prepare with a few simple steps to ensure his or her happy return to the classroom.
Return to Routines
A good night’s sleep is essential to mental and physical health. Begin to readjust your child’s routines by slowly moving bedtime forward. To help motivate your child to make this tough transition, try creating a relaxing music CD to play while preparing for bed. Deep breathing and gentle stretches before bed can also help calm your child. For breathing techniques, check out http://yogainmyschool.com/2010/04/28/yoga-breathing-exercises-for-kids-take-5/.
Make a healthy breakfast a priority and leave plenty of extra time in the mornings to prevent rushing and added stress. If you regulate your child’s schedule before the start of school, you will provide an important foundation for a calm transition into the school year.
The biggest advantage you can give your child is preparation. Attend school orientation together and talk with the teacher to create a positive relationship. Review all school materials with your child and be sure to have all school clothes and supplies purchased at least one week prior to the beginning of school.
Parents can have anxiety about the school year too. The more you know your child’s teacher and his or her expectations for the school year, the more relaxed you will feel. Your child will only benefit from your peace of mind.
Once routines are re-established, materials are gathered and supplies are purchased, use the week before school to spend quality time with your child. Talk about all the exciting opportunities ahead and encourage your child to express thoughts and concerns. Plan fun and educational activities. Head to the zoo, check out the local art or science museum, play math or word games or simply relax and read a good book together.
When you are prepared and actively engaged as a parent, you give your child a wonderful advantage. While it may be hard to say goodbye to summer, your confidence and enthusiasm for another year of learning can inspire the same in your child.