2017-07-20 / Front Page

Families should start now to help ease the transition of getting back to school

Georgia Extension Servicew

Where did summer go? Families in Wilkes County and across the state are already planning for the start of the new school year, only two weeks away. Where did summer go? Families in Wilkes County and across the state are already planning for the start of the new school year, only two weeks away. Summer break is almost over. That’s right – no more late nights, naps during the day, or living without a schedule. There’s no need for a reminder that your time will no longer be your own, but it can be easier for parents, as well as teachers, to return to their respective routines, which include getting children back to school.

Parents are instrumental in their children’s educational success. There are some things parents can do to prepare little ones for success in the classroom.

Establish a routine early. Begin earlier bed and wake-up times one week prior to returning to school. It may be tempting to let them hang out until they drop and then sleep late the following day, but it will also be more difficult for them to go to bed and get up when they do have to adhere to a schedule.

Budget educational time. A second grader, for example, must read and complete worksheets daily. So add educational apps to any devices they may use. The absence of anything educational for two months makes the transition back to school more difficult.

Maintaining educational time for middle schoolers is a tad more difficult, but it is possible. They must practice their instruments, and amybe work on poster ideas for the upcoming 4-H District Project Achievement. For a high schooler, impress upon them the importance of good grades, upcoming projects, tests, and milestone achievements. It also helps that college football will return soon – you can use that to try to captivate interest in college and discuss future plans as well.

If structured educational activities haven’t been part of your schedule, try to add a few to the last weeks of summer vacation to ease the transition.

Wake up early on the big day. No matter how well you plan, something will go awry. Waking the children up earlier will leave time for that lost belt, slow start, or just to work out the excitement of returning to school. It will also leave you less stressed when something doesn’t go as planned.

Eat a good breakfast. Most folks know how difficult it is to get children to their designated place at the right time. Skipping breakfast to save time is not the answer. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Make sure your child has a balanced meal before going to school. According to research by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Children who have eaten a nutritious breakfast have energy, improved concentration, and better grades.” Preparing food the night before really helps too.

Provide the pep talk. A pep talk can include the rules of engagement in the classroom. Preach to your kids always to listen to the teacher, keep hands to themselves, complete their work, and avoid talking in class. You may sound like a broken record, but children are not little adults and they require reminders. Your child’s teacher will thank you.

Make homework a priority. Going back to school will bring with it the return of homework. Identify expectations regarding homework. A good rule is that homework must be completed prior to any extracurricular activities. It is also a good idea to take inventory of school supplies. “I couldn’t find a pencil or a sharpener” is not a valid excuse for not completing homework.

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