As those lazy crazy days of summer dwindle away, back-to-school for kids and parents looms on the horizon. For some, this time of year is exciting because of new beginnings for students and a much-needed change of pace — just at the right time — for parents. However, the change in schedule and the new learning experience can be challenging for everyone in the family. Here are some tips to help make the adjustment easier.
Shopping for Clothes
Prepare a list of items you need several weeks before the beginning of the school year. Go through your child’s closet to see what items they’ve grown out of and what items do not meet the school’s dress code. Also, make sure to include your child on the task of cleaning out the closet and purchasing the clothes. If they take ownership in what they purchase, decide what items to pair together, and plan their outfits ahead of time, you’ll have more stress-free mornings. Back-to-school shopping can be a perfect time to teach your child about spending based on need, budgeting, and saving money by using sales and promo codes for Macy's, savings and cashback offers for Old Navy, and discounts and deals for Kohl's, to name a few.
Establishing a Routine
Your child likely had some flexibility in their summer schedule, resulting in a later bedtime and later wake-up time. It’s a good idea to prepare for the school year ahead of time by moving up your child’s bedtime to a reasonable hour and waking your child up earlier a few weeks before school starts. Before the school year begins, discuss what the mornings will look like, including any expectations you might have. Then, start implementing the schedule ahead of time so the routine is a habit by the time schools starts. A morning routine will help instill confidence and accomplishment in your child, and a set bedtime routine ensures a good night’s sleep so that your child is able to face the day, engage new learning experiences, and complete homework with energy, focus, and a refreshed mind.
In addition to establishing a morning and bedtime routine, it is equally as important to set up a homework routine. Just as you need a clean, organized, designated space to work efficiently, so does your child. Start by setting up a space just for them that is well-lit, organized, free of distractions, and provides enough space for them to get their work done. The workspace doesn’t have to be a whole room and it doesn’t have to be expensive; a decent, accessible desk with adequate storage and a comfortable chair is all that is needed. After you’ve set up a homework space, establish a set homework time, free from all distractions. A set space and time to accomplish homework will set your child up for success.
Reducing the Pressure
Kids can easily get discouraged when the pressure is too high. Start off the new school year right by reducing the pressure on your child to be perfect, and encourage learning for the sake of learning. Help your child succeed by allowing them to make errors. Encourage an open dialogue about how they’re doing and how their days went. Begin the school year by helping your child set goals for themselves, and as the year goes on you can follow up with your child to help them achieve those goals. This will ultimately help them have a positive school year.
A new school year is a time of new beginnings and a fresh start for your child. You can start the year off well for the whole family by establishing good habits early on. By establishing morning, bedtime, and homework routines, your child will be better equipped to conquer each day and take ownership of their time. By starting out the year with your child’s clothing updated and determining outfits ahead of time, you will reduce the morning rush to pick an outfit and avoid any clothing disasters or battles. It is within your power to set your child up for success with the right tools and encouragement.
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