As thoughts turn to fall and a break from the summer heat, it usually means that part of your thinking will have to do with the kids going back to school. Early preparation is key to making the smooth transition from summer break to the start of the school year, no matter whether you child is going into kindergarten or their senior year of high school. Read on to get some tips on how to make that transition as smooth and painless as possible.
Kindergarten – 5th Grade Kids
1. One of the first things that goes out the window when the school year ends is a regular sleeping schedule. It’s a good idea to get younger kids back into a regular sleeping routine about a week before school is due to return. Put an alarm clock by their bed and set it for the time they need to get up to catch the school bus. About 1 week of this should be enough to set their sleeping pattern back to normal.
2. Regularly check the school website to see if the supply list has been posted for the coming year. Try to get those supplies in as early as possible, as you will beat the rush and ensure that your child starts the school year with everything they need to be organized in class. Add labels to all of the supplies and make sure their backpack is packed and ready to go the night before school starts. It’s a good idea to have a few extra supplies on hand, as you can pretty much guarantee one or two will get lost along the way. Not having the essential supplies makes it hard for your child to do homework and school projects.
3. Heading off to school is a big deal for kindergarteners, so help ease their fears a little by walking or driving the route they will take to school. This helps set a routine for what their day will look like when school starts, which should help calm those jitters a little. If your little one is really nervous, try to make arrangements to visit the classroom a day or two before school begins. This is a request that most principals are more than happy to accommodate.
1. Middle school usually means leaving the old school behind and heading somewhere new. The bigger school can often lead to a bit of stress for your child, although they are now at an age where they will not freely admit that. Suggest taking a drive or bike ride over to the new campus so that you guys can check it out together. You may not need to do that, though, as a large number of middle schools have an orientation day where kids can go and see their new school.
2. The one thing that doesn’t change from elementary to middle school is the need for supplies, although an organizer is a great addition going into 6th grade. Before you purchase an organizer, check first to see if the kids are required to buy it from the school or not. Be prepared to check their organizer on a daily basis to ensure that all of their homework and project are being done and properly recorded. Another way to keep up with your child’s progress is to go to the school website and view their grades.
3. If you notice that your child is struggling with the basic subjects like English and math, think about hiring a tutor to help them get through the rough patch. Math in particular is one subject that moves quickly, with some of the theories learned easy to forget. A few session with a math tutor can help keep those principles and theories alive, putting your child ahead of the curve for the coming year. If you find they are excelling in a particular subject, consider moving them to an accelerated class for the remainder of the school year. Making that switch is a great way to prepare your child for Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school, all of which will earn them college credits.
1. Be aware of when SAT and PSAT exams are scheduled for. If your child does not have a strong history with tests, think about enrolling them in a test prep class. Good scores are becoming increasingly important as the competition between colleges increases. It is possible to take these exams more than once, so be prepared and register early.
2. Keep an eye on both the school and social schedule of your high school student. More freedom is granted to students when they reach this level, making it easy for distractions to get in the way of schoolwork. Set limits on how much time they can spend in school sports or with a part-time job, and also think about a curfew time on school nights. It’s not every high school student that has time management as a top priority, so try to help them with that.
3. The next logical step after high school is college, so be start doing a little research and especially consider attending college nights that your local high school might sponsor. Applying for college is becoming more and more involved, so make sure you kid knows exactly what is required. Just a few of the things that are taken into consideration are test scores, volunteer work, a formal essay and high school class selection. Think about using one of the company’s whole business it is to align your high school student with the college that best meets their specific needs.
It is important that you stay involved with your child through every grade in school. Volunteering to lend a hand in school is a great way to do that, so choose something that interests you and get involved with helping around the school. There really is no better way to get a first-hand look at how the school runs on a daily basis. If you work a full-time job that makes volunteering on that level impossible, you can still do your part on the weekends. Schools rely on all sorts of different activities for fundraising and are always looking for volunteers to help organize and run those events that take place after school and on the weekends.