September’s knocking on our door and we know what that means, right
Remember when we were kids dreading the arrival of fall, as it meant the fun was over and school was about to start? Looking back, I’d say that almost 3 full months of summer vacation was the life, man!
Now, we’re on the other side of the fence. Most of us are parents with kids who are probably dreading the start of school just like we used to.
We feel you, kiddos! Nevertheless, as responsible parents, it’s our duty to prepare our children for school or kindergarten.
Let’s explore together how to get ready for school!
Back to school - when to prepare for it?
You’re probably wondering how far ahead to plan for the return to school or kindergarten. There’s no timeframe set in stone, but a bit of school or kindergarten preparation won’t do you, or the kids, any harm. On the contrary!
You could start making little changes two weeks before the beginning of classes, so that the kids have time to adjust to the new schedule.
They will probably need to adapt their sleeping schedules to go to bed earlier and wake up early in the morning.
You’ll also have to make some tweaks in your own schedule, like making and packing their lunch boxes the night before.
After a few days, these changes will be the new normal. That’s why it’s better to start in advance.
Back to school - how to prepare for it?
Create some routines
Routines help us get used to changes in our life. If it works for us adults, it works for kids too.
Start with a morning routine that the kids can follow easily when getting ready for kindergarten or school.
Get them used to waking up at the same time they will have to wake up for classes. If the kids are older, teach them how to set their own alarm clocks, making them responsible for their morning routines.
Another routine that will help kids going to school soon is teaching them to choose their outfits the night before. This teaches them to plan ahead, and it helps you avoid those frantic mornings when everyone’s running late because they don’t know what to wear.
Better yet, you might want to make this routine your own too, just in case you encounter the same issue often.
You could also establish a lunch schedule a few weeks prior to the first day of kindergarten or school. Try to give the kids lunch at the same time they will be eating at school. This way their bodies will adapt to the schedule, and your kiddos won’t get hungry too early, or too late.
Last, but not least, introduce a bedtime routine at some point before the start of school. During summer, you were probably allowing the kids to sleep later. Now it's time to go back to their normal sleeping schedule.
Keep ‘em happy, keep ‘em healthy
Let’s talk about food. Prep the kids for kindergarten or school with a nutritious breakfast. They should have plenty of fruits like apples, bananas, and healthy options like whole grain toast.
Avoid giving them cereals full of sugar, as they will not get the energy they need to focus at school. Sugary foods create an initial spike in energy that burns off quickly, causing us to crash and become sluggish and tired.
Try to include some natural supplements in their morning routine. We know kids hate pills with a passion, but you could try liquid formulas like the ones Elderberry Hill offers. They are easier to take and can be mixed with water or orange juice, or even added to a healthy milkshake.
Make reading fun
This should be a routine for the whole summer, not just before going back to school. Make sure your kids read at least 30 minutes everyday, or you can read to them if they’re still too young to know how to read.
Choose entertaining books, or comic books. Anything to keep the kiddos engaged and interested in the activity.
Create their own study corner
It’s important for your child to have a dedicated studying space. It can be in his room, in the living room, or even in the kitchen, as long as it’s his/her space only.
They need to feel comfortable there to be able to focus on their homework.
A few weeks before school starts, start arranging this study corner with their help. Let them choose minor details, like maybe the color of the chair, or a small bookshelf. Take the kids shopping and let them choose their own binders, pencils, notebooks, and even backpacks.
Do they want everything to be pink and with unicorns? Or maybe astronaut-themed? Give them what they want. This is the easiest way to get them excited for the beginning of school.
Pick a fun extracurricular activity together
Now is a good time to choose an extracurricular activity for your child. But you shouldn’t make them do something they might not enjoy.
Give them the option of choosing what it will be.
Do they like to paint or draw? Maybe some beginner’s art classes would be a good idea.
Is your kid into sports? See what type of activity he or she would like to learn! It could be swimming, ice skating, or football.
Be open to whatever your child has to say.
Extracurricular activities are a way for kids to find their passion and have fun, but they can also learn discipline, communication skills, being a good teammate, and more.
How to get your kid to love school
Ok, ok, so we’ve established what preparations should be made ahead of time.
But being prepared for school doesn’t necessarily mean looking forward to it, does it?
That’s why we’ve also thought about some tips & tricks on how to make the little ones excited about the big day.
- Remind them that the first day back to school is also the first day of seeing their school friends. They probably didn’t see many of them during the summer and they can’t wait to share vacation stories, play, and spend half of their days together.
- Let them play. Yes, you heard that right. Playing is important! It teaches kids to adapt, to have patience, and to be flexible. Playing with other kids also prepares them for sharing, and spending time with larger groups of children their age.
- Find time to talk with your children. Ask them about their day, what new things they learned, what they liked, and what they didn’t. Encourage them to tell you what they look forward to in the new school year, and also their dislikes. Create a safe space where the child can express their feelings without any fears.
That’s it! The kids will be ready for school in no time!
The question is: are you ready to go back to the office (especially if you just came back from vacation)?