Be prepared for back to school
Back to school is right around the corner. To make the transition easier, and to prepare your kids for success, Kand#8211;12 education expert Susan Canizares, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Houghton Mifflin Harcourtand#8217;s Kand#8211;12 division, recommends the following tips to help your children transition from pool time to school time.
Adjust bedtime schedules. After enjoying a leisurely summer of staying up later than usual, two weeks before school starts, begin having your children go to bed at the school bed time. Consider adding early-morning activities such as a family walk or sports activities to begin to adjust to morning wake-up schedules.
Increase Recreational Reading. At any grade level, and particularly in Kand#8211;8, don’t underestimate the importance of reading, including reading aloud to your kids. Reading and listening comprehension skills translate to every subject, and should be practiced for at least a half hour daily until school starts.
Prepare the night before. Before bed each night, help your child prepare for the next day by packing lunches, consolidating school supplies and picking out clothing. Throughout August, use any recreational activities as practice for the school year and run through the nighttime prep routine with the entire family. This will help to ensure a stress-free morning before school.
Schedule the new routine. Outline a schedule of all of the adult and childrenand#8217;s activities for the week and create a master calendar that can be updated. Place the calendar in a central location so that everyone can view the schedule and update it as needed.
Establish homework rules now. Set a designated homework time that best fits your family and stick to it daily. Consistency is crucial and#8212; so whether you tackle homework right after school or after dinner and#8212; set the timeframe now and take advantage of the time block to read for fun.
Buy new school supplies. Many schools provide parents with a list of necessary school supplies for each child’s respective grade. Make sure your child has everything he/she needs in order to perform well in school. Items like new pencils/pens, folders and notebooks will motivate your child to be organized and feel like he/she has a fresh start.
Take a tour. If your child is starting a new school or beginning kindergarten, take a tour of the building so that he/she is familiar with the school surroundings and do not feel lost on the first day. Don’t skip any orientation sessions, especially ones to which children are invited, as they can meet potential new friends. With older children, explore the school website together, to familiarize them with school information, routines and communication procedures.
Build Confidence. Beginning a new grade level can cause anxiety for students that are anticipating harder subjects and more intensive assignments. Take this time to point out your childand#8217;s academic and personality strengths so that they are less fearful of the upcoming challenges.
and#8212; Submitted by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to email@example.com