The first week of a new school year can be stressful to everyone in the household. Here are a few reminders to help you through that first week and set you up for a successful school year.
1. Create a before and after school routine and stick to it.
Children are reassured when they know what to expect. School mornings can be hectic but having a system in place can make a big difference in how your mornings flow. This is also important after school when the kids come home and evenings can get busy with homework, dinner and other household chores.
2. Be realistic about how much your child learned during the summer.
A Johns Hopkins study of Baltimore Public Schools notes that children may lose over two months of reading achievement and learned math skills over the summer months. Needless to say, it’s important to support learning throughout the summer. However, if this wasn’t possible for your children, be realistic about it and ready to reinforce what they learned the previous year during the first few weeks of school. This will prevent them from feeling they’ve fallen behind.
3. Don’t forget to ask about their day, every day.
Asking about your children about their day is one of the most important things you can do, every day. Some children love talking about their day in school, while others don’t. If your child loves talking about it, your interest in it will encourage open communication and reassure them about your committed interest in their school life. If your child is on the quieter side, asking open-ended questions every day can help you get through to them easier when there is something upsetting them, like bullying or struggling in school.
4. Start positive, stay positive.
Start the new school year with a positive outlook. Your children may have had a not-so-good last school year with unsatisfactory grades or conduct but that should not be dragged into the new school year. You may talk about it and use it to remind them of what’s not acceptable or needs to be improved but don’t make it a part of every school related conversation and avoid making comparisons. Your children should feel like you believe in them and they have a brand new opportunity at an amazing school year.
5. Support and encourage new relationships.
Having long-lasting friends through the years is great for your children and so can be making new friends. This will open your child to new interactions, make them aware of others beyond their circle of friends and may also be helping a child at school who feels isolated and lonely. You can lead by example and befriend the new mom on the PTA or talk to the one you always bump into at pick-up time. Being part of a school community can be a great resource, for both kids and parents.
6. Commit to good attendance and punctuality.
Getting to school every day and on time every morning can be a challenge; but committing to regular attendance is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s education. Making school attendance a top priority will prepare your children for success in both school and life; leading to better grades and healthy life habits in their future with a heightened sense of responsibility and accountability.
CHS wishes you and your little ones a great year ahead, which may come with some challenges but also infinite possibilities. We hope these simple reminders can help you minimize the challenges and maximize on the possibilities.