I remember as a kid, summer seemed to last forever; days of playing outside until the sun went down, catching fireflies, no schedules, and family cookouts. The worst part about summer was the transition from lazy days to school days. Everyone enjoyed catching up with his or her friends about summer activities, but there was always the dreaded school routine for the next nine months. Because my mom is a teacher, my house was probably more strict than most of my friends the week before school started.
We are now in that time of year where routines are coming full force as we are transitioning from summer to back to school. As working parents, it is sometimes hard to get back into a scheduled routine of a tight schedule, but here are some tips to help with the transition:
- Clear your own schedule. To the extent possible, postpone business trips, volunteer meetings, and extra projects. You want to be free to help your child acclimate to the school routine and overcome the confusion or anxiety that many children experience at the start of a new school year.
- Make lunches the night before school. Older children should help or make their own. Give them the option to buy lunch in school if they prefer and finances permit.
- Set alarm clocks. Have school-age children set their own alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Praise them for prompt response to morning schedules and bus pickups.
- Leave plenty of extra time. Make sure your child has plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, and get to school. For very young children taking the bus, pin to their shirt or backpack an index card with pertinent information, including their teacher’s name and bus number, as well as your daytime contact information.
- After school. Review with your child what to do if he or she gets home after school and you are not there. Be very specific, particularly with young children. Put a note card in their backpack with the name(s) and number(s) of a neighbor who is home during the day as well as a number where you can be reached. If you have not already done so, have your child meet neighbor contacts to reaffirm the backup support personally.
- Review your child’s schoolbooks. Talk about what your child will be learning during the year. Share your enthusiasm for the subjects and your confidence in your child’s ability to master the content. Reinforce the natural progression of the learning process that occurs over the school year. Learning skills take time and repetition. Encourage your child to be patient, attentive, and positive.
- Send a brief note to your child’s teacher. Let the teachers know that you are interested in getting regular feedback on how and what your child is doing in school. Be sure to attend back-to-school night and introduce yourself to the teachers. Find out how they like to communicate with parents (e.g., through notes, e-mail, or phone calls). Convey a sincere desire to be a partner with your children’s teachers to enhance their learning experience.
- Familiarize yourself with the other school professionals. Make an effort to find out who it is in the school or district who can be a resource for you and your child. Learn their roles and how best to access their help if you need them. This can include the principal and front office personnel; school psychologist, counselor, and social worker; the reading specialist, speech therapist, and school nurse; and the after-school activities coordinator.
This post was written by Jennie Taylor. Jennie has over 10 years’ experience in the Human Resource field. She currently serves as an Operations Team Manager leading a virtual team of 23 Yoh employees. Jennie’s expertise spans training & development, staff recruitment & retention, HR metrics & analytics, organizational development, and HR policies & procedures. Prior to managing the Yoh Field Team, Jennie served as ah HR Specialist supporting a Yoh client in Greenville SC. Jennie currently still wears both hats as Operations Team Manager and HR Specialist. Jennie holds a B.S. from Strayer University in Business Administration. She currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.