It may not feel like it yet, but summer is coming to a close, and summer break is ending along with it. Soon, the kids will be back to early-morning breakfasts before the school bus arrives and latenight study sessions. Thankfully, there are some steps your family can take during these closing weeks of summer to ensure your kids hit the ground running this school year.
SET AN EARLY BEDTIME
For many kids, summer schedules are flexible. They may have become accustomed to sleeping in and staying up late without any obligations. Getting backinto the rhythm of the school year can take some getting used to. In fact, according to psychologist Cherie Valeithian, it can take upward of two weeks to properly adjust to a new sleep-wake cycle. So why not give your kids a head start and ensure they
begin the school year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?
OUTLINE A HOMEWORK SCHEDULE
Resuming a homework regimen can be a difficult transition for some kids. Late summer, when they don’t have assignments to worry about yet, can be a great opportunity to help them prepare a study schedule. Ask the following questions to help them get started: “Do you want to dive right into homework when you get home? Do you need to accommodate for a sport or extracurricular activity? Do you work best when doing your assignments in one large chunk, or would you prefer taking breaks in between assignments?”
Your kids may find that last year’s schedule doesn’t work for them this year. Emphasize that this is okay; part of growing up is learning how and when you work most effectively. Don’t be afraid to help them switch things up as the school year progresses.
ASK YOUR KIDS HOW THEY FEEL
Maybe your kids are excited about the school year. Maybe they are anxious, or perhaps they’re just disappointed to see summer vacation come to an end. Starting a dialogue about the aspects of school your kids are looking forward to and those they’re dreading can help you dispel myths and identify problem areas. More than anything else, this can help your kids feel at ease about the coming year.