Summer is Over and School is Here……..Don’t Panic!
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Labor Day Weekend is here and school starts next week. Even if your child read over the summer and feels ready for school, it can be easy to feel dread over the beginning of the school year and panicked that your child is not ready. Don’t Panic! Follow these guidelines to help ease your mind and stress level over the new school year.
- READ!: Set aside at least 30 minutes to read together or independently at a designated time during the evening that you can continue throughout the school year.
- WRITE!: This is deliberately an open-ended suggestion. The goal is to get your child to begin to think about and physically write so that they can transition back to a writing mindset for the year. It can be as simple as writing about a summer adventure or setting goals for the school year. Younger children might want to draw a picture of their favorite part of vacation and dictate or try writing a sentence about it. Don’t forget to check your child's school’s summer assignments - older children may have homework that involves writing.
- Review Sight Words: Make a list of sight words that are appropriate for your child’s grade level and read through it several times a day. You can also make flashcards and use them whenever convenient, such as in the car, before a meal, waiting at an appointment, etc. For a list of recommended sight word lists, check out https://sightwords.com/sight-words/dolch/
- Talk to your children: Children of all ages may feel anxious about the new school year so talk to them. Ask how they're feeling about starting school, what they’re looking forward to and/or nervous about, what they want to learn, etc. Reading books about school, visiting the school ahead of time, reaching out to teachers are all ways that may help ease your child's nerves.
- Get organized: Not only should you have backpacks and school supplies ready, but you should also make a space in your home for your child to do homework. If possible, make sure it is in an area that is quiet and free of distractions. Include your child in the process of choosing and setting up the space. Keep sharpened pencils and extra paper available. Dry erase calendars are not only helpful in keeping your child organized but will also help you stay informed about your child’s homework.
- Set a routine: Summer is all about relaxing and getting OUT of a normal routine, but school requires a more structured approach. Don’t wait until the first day of school to adjust to the schedule change. Instead, make sure your child eases back into a consistent bedtime and wake up routine at least a week before school starts.
Although it is hard to say good-bye to summer, these suggestions will make it easier to get excited about a fresh start to a fun and successful school year!