A new school year means a different teacher, a different classroom, new classmates and unfamiliar learning materials. It is not uncommon for the start of school to cause anxiety for children. There are a lot of changes taking place and even exciting changes can feel a bit overwhelming. By spending a bit of time intentionally preparing for the new academic year, you can ease some of that stress and help prepare your kids for learning.
Begin by getting your home ready for the school year. Create an inbox for papers that need your attention, like permission slips or Scholastic book order forms. Designate an area for homework, an area to place backpacks and lunch boxes, and a space to lay out clothing for the next day. Create a homework caddy that can be used for school supplies.
Next, equip your kids with the tools for success. Allow them to help pick out supplies and a planner to stay organized. Create a family calendar to track each child’s schedule and be sure to designate a time for homework and a time for family.
Then, ease your children’s minds by taking a tour of the school. Let them walk into their classroom and meet their teacher, if possible. Having a buddy can also help ease tension in all situations (for kids and adults). Arranging a playdate with a few of your child’s classmates can help rebuild existing friendships and create a new sense of comradery among them.
Gradually add more structure to your child’s sleep schedule, creating more organization around morning and bedtime routines. Plan a fun activity to enjoy with your kids to start the year off. Best of luck to you and your little ones this year!
Written by: Jacqueline D’Attoma, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern