Here are 5 ways you can take the stress out of ‘back to school’ and get a great start on the school year.
- The practicalities
You know all about these. The media is full of things you can buy for the new school year – but you don’t have to buy them! Yes, children may need a few new clothes, after all they have probably grown during the summer, but don’t go overboard, only buy what is absolutely necessary.
Your child will need school supplies, pens, binders, new school bag etc. At this time of year you can find good deals on these.
Put together some food ideas too. What can you buy in that will make preparing school lunches easy and quick to prepare?
2. Establish Routines
Now is the time to re-establish family routines. These include regular bedtimes, meal times, homework times as well as the routine of getting out the door in the morning! having a ‘ready for school routine is one way of preventing the stress that can happen over breakfast!
And don’t forget YOUR routines. What arrangements can you make that will make life easier for you?
3. Understand different roles
This is important as understanding people’s roles in helping children make a success if school can prevent stress building up and causing problems.
Your role is the ‘set the scene’ for learning so that your child can benefit from what the teacher is teaching.
The teacher’s role is to teach your child – a task that is made much easier when you have set the scene.
The school’s role is to keep your child safe and to provide as many learning opportunities as possible.
Your child’s role is to do his of her best work and to tell you when he or she is struggling to understand homework assignments.
Don’t get them mixed up! That leads to stress all around.
4. Get a handle on expectations
Knowing what everyone’s expectations for the new school year are takes away the frustration of not knowing what to do.
What expectations does the teacher have around homework? What help does he or she expect you to give your child? Does he or she expect you to provide information when your child finds homework too hard or too easy?
Knowing these expectations takes most of the hassle out of homework time.
Does the school have a policy on dress? Lateness? Absenteeism? Communication with parents? Does the school expect you to volunteer or to go on field trips?
You amy already know this – but it might be a good idea to check.
What do you expect from the school, the teacher and your child? What are you going to do if these expectations are not met? How can you communicate with the school and your child’s teacher?
Do you need to modify your expectations in light of what the school expects?
Your child’s expectations
Talk to your child. What does he or she expect the new school year to bring? Do you need to help him or her modify these expectations? How are you going to do that?
If your expectations and your chid’s expectations do not match the year could be more stress than it needs to be.
5. Open Lines of communication
Knowing how you, your child’s teacher and your child are going to communicate is probably the biggest tip of all. Discover how to contact your child’s teacher (ask them about the best way to do this). How and when do letters get sent from the school? How can you know what your child is learning in class?
Most of all set aside time each day to talk with your child about their feelings, their work, and any concerns they may have. Don’t let small difficulties become major problems. opening lines of communication can prevent that happening.
Make the new school year stress free by handling the practicalities, establishing routines, understanding everyone’s role and their expectations and by keeping lines of communication open at all times.
Believe me, everyone wants a stress free year. These five tips will help you make it happen.
If, despite these tips, the year starts to get stressful contact me and we can sort it out.