Expecting a Successful Return to School

By Rhonda Campbell

Days spent at the beach or poolside are slowly coming to an end for school students. It won’t be long before cooler temperatures will arrive, blanketing the earth with frost and dew. Instead of filling video game rooms, movie theatres, baseball fields and basketball courts, millions of youth will fill school classrooms.

Shifting Back to the Classroom

The shift away from having fun and taking it easy can bring challenges. After all, who likes having to climb out of bed near dawn to get ready to go to school? I know I didn’t think it was cool to cut my fun short just so I could get to bed early so I’d be rested for school.

Truth be told, the return to school isn’t easy on parents either. However, the shift back to the classroom can be made easier on children and their parents if families:

  • Spend more quality time together two to three weeks before school starts (e.g. taking daytrips, bike riding, barbecuing)
  • Find out which supplies students need a week or more before school resumes (some supply stores like office superstores post required school supplies near their entrances; if you don’t see a list of required supplies ask a clerk at the store for one)
  • Start and finish shopping for school clothes one to two weeks before children return to school (there’s nothing like a last minute rush to send tempers rising, especially when parents and children’s fashion tastes clash)
  • Enjoy visiting local libraries and bookstores to discover new books to read
  • Practice basic lessons with younger children

Discuss School Schedules and Experiences

Parents can also help make returning to school easier for themselves and their children by discussing school schedules with their children. For example, parents can let their children know whether or not they expect them to do their homework as soon as they get home from school. They can also let older children know whether or not they want them to stay home looking after their younger siblings until they get home from work.

If parents want to ensure their children have arrived home safely from school they can also get home network security systems that allow them to check in on their children while they’re still at the office. To ensure children are progressing well during the school year, parents can:

  • Ask their children how their day at school went (for example, parents can ask their children to tell them what they like most about the new school year as well as what they like least about the new school year)
  • If parents think they’re children are withholding information, like being bullied, from them for fear that disclosing the information may cause them to feel shame they can talk with their children about challenges they faced during school and ask their children to share one to two challenges they are having in school
  • Ask their children to tell them about new friends they’ve made at school
  • Let their children know that if they need support or just want to talk, share a laugh, joke, etc. they are there for them

School brings so much into children’s lives, opportunities to make new friends, learn, expand their minds and participate in extracurricular activities offered by school clubs and athletics. School can also bring challenges. By preparing to return to school several weeks before the end of the summer break, parents and children can ease the shift back to the classroom.

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