7 Tips to Help Kids Recharge and be Ready for the Next School Year January 21, 2020
As the summer holidays wind down, many of us are starting to think about the start of the upcoming school year. While your kids may have had a great time on holiday, whether that was spent at camp, lounging around the house, or travelling, it’s important to remember that the back-to-school time can be stressful for many students.
Thus, as parents, guardians, and educators, it’s our job to help our students get ready for the upcoming school year. With the end of summer and the start of school, students need to be ready to get back into a routine and to engage their academic brains.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t know where to start when it comes to helping our kids recharge for the next school year. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here are some of our top tips for getting your student ready for the upcoming school year:
Wrap up the summer
It’s hard to get your mind wrapped around a major transition and the start of school if you’re still daydreaming about your summer vacation. So, if your child seems hesitant about the transition, you can try to wrap up their summer experience with an end-of-summer event, like a barbecue. Alternatively, a conversation reflecting on the highlights of the summer can be a nice way to tie off loose ends before your child heads back to school.
Reflect on the past school year
If you think your child has room to grow when it comes to academic or social success in school, it can be useful to reflect on the past school year. Before the summer draws to an end, sit down with your child and talk about how the past school year went for them. What did they do well? What can they improve on? Having these conversations can help your child develop a growth mindset when moving into the next school year.
Regardless of how your child is doing in school, it can be helpful to set goals before moving into the upcoming school year. Keep in mind that large, overarching goals like “do better in school” make it difficult to judge one’s progress and can seem like an unattainable task. Rather, work with your child to set “SMART” goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Such goals help individuals gauge their forward progress while simultaneously providing small steps that can help one actually achieve their desired outcomes.
Help your child get familiar with their school
Transitions and new school years can be difficult, especially if your child is going to a new school. Whether you’ve recently moved or your child has graduated into a new school, it’s can be useful for a child to know what to expect. Getting familiar with a new school or routine before the academic year can help alleviate stress and anxiety that comes with being thrust into a new, unfamiliar situation. If possible, take your student on a tour of their new school, even if it’s just to the playground. This can help them get used to their new school before classes start.
Take advantage of orientation activities
Many schools have a back-to-school event before the academic year starts. These events can be a fantastic way for your child to meet their new teacher and, perhaps their new classmates, before the summer ends. Even a simple meet-and-greet with a teacher can help make a student more comfortable, so it’s worth the extra effort to help your child feet settled before the school year starts.
Get back on schedule
While summer might be a time for kids to stay up late, sleep in, and play video games all night, as the summer winds down, it’s important that you help your student get back on their normal school year schedule. A regular bedtime and 7am wake-up calls can help a child prepare physically for the start of the academic year, which can also help them avoid grogginess on the first day of school.
Keep your child’s brain active
The first day of school can be tricky for students, especially if they haven’t done much mental heavy-lifting during the summer. Although children learn a lot through playing, travelling, and socializing, it can be hard to get one’s brain back into “school mode” after a long break. To help your student excel during the upcoming school year, encourage them to read, do crossword puzzles, or other brain-games throughout the summer.
Since students often forget a lot of what they learned in the past school year during the summer months, this little extra bit of mental stimulation can go a long way. Plus, many students have summer homework or assignments to complete, so you might want to encourage them to complete their work early on to avoid the dreaded last-minute scramble to get it all done at the end of summer.
Talk with your child
At the end of the day, it’s important to talk with your child to determine what their unique needs are before the start of the school year. While some students are able to self-motivate and do well at school without much external encouragement, others need that extra little bit of help to get comfortable with these transitions.
Before your child heads back to school this academic year, take the time to help them rest, recharge, and get ready for the next phase in their development. Goal setting, reflection, and continued mental stimulation can go a long way.