Easing the transition back to school

Monday is back to the books day for students in the Lewisville, Argyle and Denton school districts.  Are you ready?

Starting back to school can be a little stressful for both students and parents. Switching from the laid-back fun in the sun of summer to rules, homework and routines can be a big jump for parents and children alike. But with a little preparation and the right attitude, it doesn’t have to be so hard.

Here is some advice from Eric Welch, Executive Director at LearningRx Flower Mound:

1.    Parents need to be interested and enthusiastic about the start of school. If you are confident and excited, your child will be too. “Talk it up” – get them talking about how they are feeling, are they nervous, anxious, excited about making new friends. Let your child know it is normal to feel nervous. “It’s really just our body getting us pumped up so we’re ready to handle a new or challenging situation.”

2.    Start daily routines at home at the start of the school year (or before). Let your child become involved with packing their lunch or laying out their clothes. Post a schedule or checklist that includes the morning routine and the after school routine. Include snack time, study time, extracurricular activities, TV time, bath time, and bed time.

3.    Establish a routine of studying or working on homework the same time, the same place every day. This will help you to stay focused as your brain will be thinking, “OK, I’m in my homework nook, at 3:30pm. I need to focus on homework.”

4.    Post all calendars of school activities, assignment due dates, sports games, meetings, vacations and lunch menus on the refrigerator or another designated space. Younger students can cross off each day’s completion before bedtime.

5.    Spend time each day talking to your child about what happened in school. At the dinner table discuss the day’s events and anything they learned that day. Answers like “Fine” and “Nothing” are not acceptable.

6.     Make sure you know when they have tests or projects due so they know you are interested and what and how they do things matters. This also helps students who have organizational struggles.

7.    Attend back-to-school programs and parent-teacher conferences.  Join the PTA and other parent groups. If you are involved, your child can’t help but be engaged. Children whose parents are more involved with their education have higher achievement, are better adjusted and are less likely to drop out of school.

Whether you are excited for school to resume or wish summer would never end, the transition will be smoother with a little planning and a positive attitude!  Good luck!

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