Wednesday, August 7

FAIRMONT FIVE tips to beat the back-to-school blues

It's back-to-school season!  Don't you just love picking out fresh new school supplies, choosing new backpacks, buying new clothes--it's exciting, right?!  Yes and no.  There's plenty of anxiety that comes along with the start of a new school year, for parents and for children.  As with any big change, it helps to shift gears slowly.  Here are some of our tips for making your transition from summer break to the new school year a little less painful:

1. Plan ahead for the morning rush. We all know mornings are the toughest. Even if you're a morning person, juggling breakfasts and showers and braids...it's enough to push you over the edge. Take some time the night before to prepare.  Have your child lay out his or her outfit for the next day (including shoes and accessories) before bed time. Make sure completed homework and signed permissions slips have been neatly tucked away in your child's backpack. Know what you're making for breakfast and packing for lunch--and stick to the plan. 

2.Transition into the school routine. A few weeks before school starts, start adjusting bedtimes and getting back into a regular routine. For the little ones, make this transition fun by saying "we're going to start practicing for school!". Remind older kids that getting enough sleep really does make you smarter and happier at school--it's scientific fact! Build the back-to-school excitement with school supply shopping, "classroom" playtime themes, bedtime stories about school, playdates with school friends, etc. 

3.Start a unique goodbye ritual. For younger children (and maybe for you), one of the toughest parts about going back to school is saying goodbye. Instead of making goodbyes something to dread, make them special by coming up with a fun goodbye ritual that is unique to you and your kids. It could be a made-up handshake (think Parent Trap) or a whistle or a special hug. Ask your kids for their input and create a unique daily tradition that will make you both smile.  

4.Send a little love. No matter how old your child is, a heartfelt note, compliment or gesture never goes unnoticed. Sending a surprise post-it note message in your child's lunchbox or cutting his or her sandwich in a special shape or even just suggesting a spontaneous after-school ice cream date is a great reminder of how much you care. And the best part? Thinking up these little surprises will help you stay positive amid the back-to-school stress. 

5. Create a homework zone. Organized, designated study spaces are crucial to student success when it comes to homework. Be mindful about providing desk or table space for each child where he or she can work successfully. Some children like privacy, others like background noise, so pay attention to how and where each child works best and create learning spaces accordingly. Set up a routine of checking student's planners and class agendas daily or weekly to make sure assignments are being completed on time. Encourage students to share their homework with you and show you what they've learned. 

We wish all our Fairmont Private Schools families a wonderful, blues-free back-to-school season! 

Image from caglecartoons.com

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

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