This is part of a sponsored collaboration ̊ with the PreK12 Plaza. However, all opinions expressed are my own. #PreK12Plaza
The back-to-school equation could be describes as subtracting summer, adding new schedule and school supplies and if not done right, multiply the anxiety especially for first timers like my own chiquito (my youngest son) who will begin school for the first time this year. As his parent, I believe that it’s my responsibility to begin to help him understand what’s about to happen. How can I make that transition easier? Below are a few steps that we will take as a family.
Enlist older siblings in having candid conversations about what school is. Since my oldest son understands that at the end of summer our routine will change and school will begin, he can share how he feels about this. My hope is that it will ease the little one into the new routine if he understand that his big brother has already been through it. The key will be to keep the conversation positive.
Send the kids to bed earlier and earlier leading up to the first day of school. By the time the first day arrives, they are adjusted to the new bed time. And so are you. I’m not a morning person so for me, it’s the early morning adjustment that I must make.
Make a regular visits to the local library. Library time is usually associated with learning time so this will help remind the kids what learning time can look like. Ask the librarian for assistance on finding books are your child’s reading level. If there is a summer reading program, I highly encourage you to participate in that with your kids.
Set family goals for the school year. In Texas, I use the Texas Education Agency as a resource to see what is expected of each grade level. I read through each grade level, talk with my husband about the expectations and then set goals. We then discuss this with each child. Again, this will be new for my chiquito but the conversation alone begins to set the tone for what school is and what learning time will look like.
I also turned to a couple of trusted friends for their preparing for back-to-school tips.
My friend Mandy, from MyBlissfulChaos.com and mom of 4, suggests to get a big calendar and place it in a central location.
“With school activities being added to the mix of an already busy schedule, this helps keep everyone on the same page.” Mandy, My Blissful Chaos.
Another tip is to begin shopping for school supplies. Nothing really says it’s time for school again like new school supplies. My friend Deborah from Sugar Rush in SA and mom of 4, recommends buying quality backpacks, too, like the ones at Pottery Barn. Some of the cute but inexpensive backpacks won’t last throughout the entire year only causing you to spend more money on another backpack in the middle of the year.
In preparing kids for back-to-school, the biggest part of the equation truly is parental involvement. A retired teacher once said to me, “If you care this much about your child’s education and stay involved, your child will be fine wherever they go to school.” It stuck with me. My parental involvement includes locating learning resources for myself and for other parents that can make it easier for us to encourage our kids to keep learning.
One of those resources is PreK12 Plaza http://bit.ly/1GOd9hc
PreK12 Plaza is driven by one mission: To ignite the genius in every child. I appreciate that they use technology to bring the best quality education and that they offer a solid foundation in Math and Language Arts (fully bilingual). For us parents, we can take advantage of some of the strongest Parent Engagement tools in the Ed Tech industry. Watch the video below for more information and subscribe to PreK Plaza online.