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Preparing your child for back to school!

Preparing your child to go back to school, whether it be after summer or after the year at home due to covid, is important. These steps will help them to feel prepared and ready to take on the year and successfully transition into academic life.

Stay Positive
As a parent, it’s important to remind your child of all the positives that come from going back to school. Tell them about all the new friends they’ll make in class, how wonderful their new teacher will be, and all the new things they’ll learn about once they return. Although it will be different to go back, it will be great, and a lot of those feelings they will pick up from you. Avoid saying things like are you nervous or are you anxious as this may subconsciously imprint your feelings onto them.

Get Them Back On A Schedule
No matter the age, children perform better when they are on schedule, and understandably, due to the craziness of the last year, many parents have let schedules fall by the wayside. Prepare your child to go back to school by getting them back into a routine that mimics school, before they return. From naps to screen time, let your child know when each activity is scheduled for and that once it’s over it’s time to move on. This will help them prepare for school and the year ahead and avoids meltdowns once they return.

Back To School Shopping
Another way to make your child feel excited and prepared to return to school is by going back to school shopping. Perhaps you let them pick out their new backpack, or get them a new folder for all their upcoming school work. Another idea is having them pick out their first day back outfit. This shows your child that going back to school is something to look forward to. Plus, when children take ownership over how they look they feel empowered and confident, which is something they need when returning to a foreign environment.

If your child is old enough and will be required to wear a mask when they return to school, start increasing the amount of time they wear it in your home life. Or if they are going from spending a lot of time alone start to have more group play dates. You want to start small and build up to the barrage of sights, sounds, and environment of school life. This avoids the child having a sensory overload at school.

Start Having Conversations Now
It’s important to keep space and have an open dialog with your child about going back to school. Giving them a place to discuss their fears of returning to school, as well as discussing the benefits of their education. Asking your child about what they’re excited about, what they think they’ll learn this year, as well as giving them a space to discuss their fears and anxieties is important before they return to school.

Returning to school is a wonderful thing for your child, but preparation is the key to success.