With summer coming to a close, families with children are gearing up to head back to school. According to Ana Martinez of the Flower Mound Huntington Learning Center, there are several things parents can do toward the end of summer break that make a tremendous difference in getting children mentally prepared to start the year off right.
“Students need summer break to relax and recharge their batteries, but the beginning of a new grade can be a little bumpy if parents and children remain in ‘summer mode’ until that first school bell rings,” says Martinez.
Luckily, a little preparation can make a big difference. Here are five back-to-school tips for parents and children:
- Revisit the organizational system. Go over the importance of staying organized with the use of a homework notebook (for younger students) or student planner or smartphone planner app (for older students). Clean off the desks and make sure your home is ready for the school year, with new pencils, paper and other supplies, a family calendar in a central location and a reliable system for keeping track of papers that come home from teachers and school.
- Meet the teacher. Attend back-to-school night to meet any teachers and staff as well as school leaders. Ask the teacher how you can support your child in school and the best way to stay in touch about any issues that might arise.
- Go over the school day routine. For most families, summer offers a more relaxed pace and schedule, but come August, it’s a good idea to go over the routine your family will resume once school is back in session. Update the family calendar with any scheduled activities, start waking your child up a little earlier the week or two before the first day of school, and get back to a regular evening routine (dinner, reading before bed and lights out at a reasonable hour).
- Refresh the memory on last year’s school work. The “summer slide” is a serious problem, with many students losing several months of knowledge gained in the prior school year. If your child hasn’t touched a book all summer, you can still make up some ground by having him or her review last year’s assignments or textbooks and re- establishing a nightly reading habit.
- Have positive conversations. The end of summer can induce stress for children who didn’t have the best experience last school year or struggle with one or more subjects. Embrace a positive attitude and talk to your child about what changes you would both like to make this school year. Talk about your child’s biggest areas of worry and how you can offer support. Remind your child that no problem is insurmountable and that you’re there to help.
If your child wants to make it a great school year, Huntington can assist. Martinez encourages parents to reach out to Huntington to share their concerns. Huntington can develop a customized plan to help children improve their study habits, build their confidence and close any knowledge gaps that caused school challenges last year. Call the Flower Mound Huntington Learning Center at 972-325-2015 to learn more.