Tips for smooth transitions into “school mode”

Backtoschool_girlIt’s that time of year again, time for kids to head back to school.  Helping your kids get off to a great start for the new school year is important for your whole family.  Here are some ideas to help them with the transition:

  • Talk about it.  Talking about returning to school can be helpful in preparing kids for the first day of class.  Ask what excites them about the grade ahead, while also making sure to address any concerns they may have.
  • Read about it.  Many children enjoy reading books about school as September approaches.  There are lots of great books for young kids about first days in a new class, as well as attending school for the first time.
  • Start transitioning back to your family’s school-year routines, including bedtime, morning and eating schedules.  If your kids have gotten into the habit of staying up later during the summer, start getting them into bed 15 minutes earlier each night.  This can help ease them back into the routine and help you and your kids get enough sleep and make it to school on time.
  • Make a countdown.  Time can be a difficult concept for children to grasp; therefore countdowns can help reduce the daily “How many days until school starts?” question.  Figure out how many days are left until the first day of school and then make a countdown.  It can be as simple as marking off days on the calendar or making a countdown sticker board.
  • Get prepared.  Many children enjoy purchasing school supplies and a couple of new outfits before the first school day.  Make shopping a fun time for the kids to get excited about going back to school.  You don’t need to go overboard, just allow children to be actively involved of this important preparation step.
  • Plan a back-to-school event.  Be it a small party with neighborhood friends, a play date, a special family dinner or even a fun outing, celebrating the end of summer and the start of another school year can be a wonderful way to recognize the transition.

Getting the family mentally and physically prepared for the new school year makes for a smooth start before the first class bells ring.

Photo Credit:  Phil Roeder

About Laura Hutchison

Laura Hutchison, PsyD, LP, RPT/S ,a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provider, has been a practicing therapist since 1999. She obtained her Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) in 2005 from The Center of Humanistic Studies (now called the Michigan School for Professional Psychology). She currently works part-time in her private practice in Farmington Hills, Mich., writes her own blog, PlayDrMom, and is a full-time mom of two young children.

http://blog.playdrhutch.com/

 
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