5 Ways to prepare your child for the new School Year

Getting back to school after summer can be a pain! - ZenParent

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Summer vacation is almost over! It can be a bit of a task to get back into the groove of school after the carefree, unstructured holidays. Children need some warm up time to get into the new school year.  Here are a few things you can do to get them warmed up!

1. Sleeping routines: One of the things that kids struggle with the most is the waking up early on a school day. Summer holidays throw their sleeping schedules off and it would be a good idea to reinstate the school day bed time routines at least a week before the reopening date to get your child’s body clock into the rhythm of things. Make them go to bed at the same time as they would on a school night and wake them up at the same time. If you have been planning to get your child to wake up to an alarm, now is a great time to practice!

2. Start talking about school: Going back to school is exciting for some children and a bit of a drag for other kids. So start talking to your children about going back to school. What they think might be interesting in the New Year; Do they have any goals for the New Year; Do they see themselves doing things differently etc. This gets them in the “mood” for school. Get it into their radius of thoughts.

3. Get them involved in the preparation: While it is definitely easy many times for parents to just wrap the kids’ books and be done, don’t do it for them. Get them involved and engaged and help them do it. For really small kids, get them to stick labels and maybe write their names on it. Take them shopping for a new pencil box, a bag or lunch box/water bottle etc which would get them excited about school.

4. Bite sized portions of Math and Reading: This is the toughest one. Research has shown that kids forget a lot during summer vacation. Since Math and Reading are the two top skills required in any grade, see if you can start brushing up on certain chapters in Math that your child may have struggled with the previous year. You can print out worksheets from the internet and get them to practice 30 minutes a day. This will invite a lot of moaning and groaning, but will really pay off when school begins. If your child is not a regular reader of books, now would also be a good time to initiate 20 minutes of reading per day to get back into the groove.

5. Good time to check the summer homework checklist! : If your children are like mine, they have certainly forgotten something the teacher told them to do during the summer holidays! Check with your child a couple of weeks before school begins if any summer projects or assignments are due and get them done , else it is going to be super stressful at the last minute for both of you and not a pleasant way to begin the new academic year.

In hindsight, most of us have pleasant memories of our school days and certainly they seem less stressful than being an adult!  By taking a few steps, we can ensure that our children also start the new school year on a positive note with a little bit of thought and planning to smoothen the process.

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