The new school year is just around the corner, and many kids are getting ready for an exciting time. Approximately 14.8 million students are enrolled full-time in a school system at any given time. Whether you're a parent, teacher, or both, it's essential to set the children up for success to be prepared for the upcoming year of studies.
Carve out Communication Time
Make sure you carve out some time during the summer break purely to focus on communication surrounding the next school year. Kids naturally have expectations, worries, and excitement surrounding the upcoming event. Talk with them about various things.
- What their school day might look like, especially if they are moving from elementary school to middle school
- People they expect to reconnect with
- What they think their favorite subjects might be
- The good things you've heard about their new teachers
- Excitement over learning new things
- New pick-up and drop-off routines
If your child is currently attending or attending a private school, be sure to discuss any concerns they have around the teaching methods or styles that might differ from past experiences. Approximately 78% of private school students attend religious-based private schools with religious beliefs woven into the curriculum.
Stock up on School Supplies for Your Family
Start preparing all the supplies needed, including notebooks, pencils, and folders. It is essential to pick up all the supplies before school starts, as it can be difficult for kids to get anything they need once classes have already started.
Some back-to-school items are also good to stock up on in advance, such as pencil sharpeners, extra notebook paper, pens, glue, tissues, construction paper, and erasers. It's common for these items to get used up quickly during the school year.
Refresh and Reinforce Learning Over the Summer
Every family has opportunities to help refresh and reinforce lessons over the summer. Some kids get to attend summer camps or small sports clusters. Others take full advantage of all the resources found at their local public libraries.
No matter what your family is doing during the day, consider taking time out to do puzzles like word searches, crossword puzzles, logic problems, and sudoku. Even 25 minutes a day can help a child keep their learning skills active. Consider requiring each child to read a book for at least 20 minutes a day, in addition to alternate learning activities. If a child is too young to read independently, consider having time where the stories are read aloud.
Create Calendars and Checklists
Create a calendar for your family that includes the anticipated activities for the family. The goal is to have sporting events, tryouts, days off as determined by the school administration, family vacations—anything on the horizon you want them to be prepared for. This way, they'll know when it's time to register or sign up for something before it happens. Place the calendar in a central location for the entire family to see. For any questions on scheduling, the whole family should refer to this calendar as the master schedule for the school year.
Make a checklist for each child to pack their school bags before school starts. Include a list of critical phone numbers stashed in their phones or laminated on small cards they can carry in their wallets or school bags.
Brush Up on Technology Skills
Work with each child to brush up on any technical skills they might need. Their new classrooms may be remote or use computers directly at the school. With approximately 1.8 million websites running at the same time around the globe at any given time, it's also vital to discuss internet safety and social media boundaries.
The important thing is to find what works for your family and make sure you start early in the summer with your preparations. These preparations help your family avoid unnecessary stress at the beginning of the school year.