Here are some good, general tips from Highlights, an iconic brand dedicated to delivering “fun with a purpose.” Its newest initiative, Highlights Learning, provides tools to foster joyful learning among the youngest pupils.
These ideas can help ease that transition from summer to school — or for going to school for the first time!
- Forge friendships: Invite a few of your child’s classmates, bus or carpool buddies over. Have short playdates late in the summer or early in the school year.
- Encourage self-expression: Allow your student to choose some of his or her own school supplies, as long as they fit school specifications. Buy, customize or recycle a backpack your child will be excited to take to class. (This is kind of the kid equivalent of parents buying workout clothes to make exercise more fun.)
- Celebrate learning: Let your child choose a special, learning-related “bonus” back-to-school item. For example, an activity book or storybook, puzzle, blank book for writing or drawing.
- Calm the jitters: Talk about any concerns your child might be experiencing. Here are a few related books that might help start a conversation. Plan a special celebration to mark the end of summer.
- Establish a kid-smart schedule: Start your evening wind-down earlier each night over a two-week period and do the same for wakeups. Save morning stress by having outfits ready to choose from and by deciding on lunch the night before.
- Designate a “school stuff” zone: Choose a location — a chair in your child’s room or a spot near the front door — to stash all school belongings. This makes it easy for your little learner to stay organized and for you to fight clutter.
As of now (mid-August), the plan is to open schools in person with masks and social distancing. Remind your kids about what that entails, plus the importance of good handwashing, etc.
Related: 8 expert tips for simplifying school-lunch packing || Create a fun, new family back-to-school tradition || 3 tips for easing back-to-school jitters || A pediatrician answers your back-to-school questions