Rules don’t apply as much in the summer. The days are longer, kids stay up later, and the strict school routine you were once obliged to keep no longer applies. But while you are busy soaking in the summer sun the school year can sneak up pretty fast. If you’re not prepared, you could end up desperately searching your home the night before the first day of school to fulfill required school supplies.
Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to avoid having to crawl through dust bunnies and bypass the stress the first day of school can bring.
One of the most common problems is getting your little ones back on a normal bedtime routine. If their bedtime hasn’t been consistent over the summer, for two to three nights leading up to the first day of school, progressively make bedtime a little earlier each night, and wake them up a little earlier in the morning. That way they will already be on a better sleeping schedule and wake up rested for their first day.
To make sure kids are prepared when you can’t be with them, record their need-to-know information such as their room number, teacher’s name, bus schedule, (locker combination for older kids) in a safe location. To ensure they don’t lose the info, write the information in permanent marker on a fabric patch, then stitch the patch to the inside of their backpack.
Like most kids, they probably had a lot more fun playing at the beach or pool this summer than reviewing last year’s lessons. So it’s possible that they might experience a little of what most people refer to as “summer brain drain.”
“Brain drain” isn’t as prevalent in children that go to year-round schools because the break between education periods is much shorter. However, if your child has been out of school for a few months, chances are they might need a little help getting back into the learning groove.
- Old-fashioned flash cards. The good news is that refreshing their memory can be as easy as going through some flashcards before dinner.
- Video games. There’s also a bevy of educational computer and tablet games you can utilize to bring kids back up to speed in a fun way. There are even games for mainstream consoles, such as Sesame Street: Ready Set Grover, and Reader Rabbit Preschool, available on the Nintendo Wii.
- Digital educational series. You can also explore some of the options that Leap Frog offers. They have their own line of educational toys and products specifically designed for ages 9 and below, including tablets designed specifically for children, interactive DVDs, and plenty of games. Your kids will be having fun and you will feel better knowing they are better prepared for their first day!
- Tutor. You may need one throughout the school year, and less frequent visits during the summer help keep kids fresh. Alternatively, simply schedule a back-to-school refresher or ‘what to expect’ session that can really help your child feel more confident as a student.
- Contact teachers. Once you receive information from the school about teacher assignments, contact them directly for a better idea of the curriculum ahead.
Of course, a good breakfast after a restful night’s sleep can do wonders for preparing your child for their first day of school, or first day back at school, depending on their age. Using a few of these tips, all you will need to worry about is having enough coffee for yourself in the morning!