Summer is usually a less structured time of the year for parents and their children. As summer comes to an end, it can be difficult to get back into the structured routine of going back to school. Whether you have a child that is going to school for the first time, or transitioning into middle school or high school, here are some tips to assist with a smooth transition.
Starting School for the First Time
Sending your child to school for the first time can be both exciting and scary, for you as a parent and your child. It is important to prepare your child for this important milestone. Here are some suggestions to help with the adjustment.
- Communicate with your child. Make sure your child understands they are not being sent away and they will come home at the end of the day. They are going to learn, have fun, and make friends. Be specific and let your child know you will see them later. For example, tell your child, “I can’t wait until you get home so you can tell me all about the fun things you did today!”
- Talk to your child’s teacher. Make this a regular thing to help learn your child’s strengths and challenges that way you can offer encouragement and support at home.
- Participate in a new student orientation or a tour. It can be very helpful to see the layout of the school and the classroom before the year begins.
- Be positive! Give your child a hug and kiss and wave goodbye. It may be hard, but try not to cry (at least in front them) as your child leaves for school and avoid arguments about what clothes to wear and what to eat for breakfast.
Transitioning to Middle School
Transitioning from elementary school to middle school can be challenging. Most students go from a single classroom and teacher, to having many teachers and changing classrooms. It is also a time in a child’s development when they are finding their independence but still need support from their parents. Here are some ways to ease the changes.
- Be prepared. Attend a tour of the school with your child, making sure to visit each of their classrooms.
- Extracurricular Activities. Encourage your child to get involved in school activities such as sports and clubs. This will help them meet new people and ease loneliness.
- Use a planner. It is important that your child is organized and learns time management skills. Teach them how to use a planner with their class schedule and assignments.
- Grades. Try not to put too much pressure on grades, especially in the beginning. Your child will be adjusting to a new school and it’s important that they get a handle on all the changes.
The Final Step In Childhood: High School
Many of the same skills developed in middle school continue on into high school, but as a high school student, it is important that your teenager sharpens these skills.
- Keep Communication Open: Let your teen know they can come to you for advice and support and remind them that they are not alone. High school students can experience educational and social stress, so communication is key to reduce the stress levels.
- Be Involved: Attend school functions and meetings to keep up to date on information. It’s also a good way to meet other parents and grow your own support system.
- Time Management: Many teens today use technology in schools. Encourage them to use a calendar with school assignments and activities to keep them organized.
- Social Media: Talk to your child about the pros and cons of social media and how to use it safely.
Whether you are sending your child to school for the first time or your child is transitioning through a new milestone, it can be tricky to navigate.
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