Saying goodbye to summer and getting back to school can be both an exciting time and one that is hard to move on from. Days at the pool and catching lightning bugs will soon be replaced with science and reading, homework, and early bedtimes.
Starting a back to school routine before school actually starts is a great way to transition your child from the playground to the school grounds.
I’m excited to once again have Carol Zook, one of our favorite guest contributors and a former kindergarten teacher of 34 years, sharing tips with us for a successful back to school routine. “Some preparation a couple of weeks before the big day will make this step easier.”
- Use a calendar to count the days until the start of school. Mark it in a special way.
- Summer bedtimes tend to be more casual. Start “school bed time” about two weeks before school starts. Try to be consistent.
- Have your child choose and lay out his/her clothes the night before. (Have a choice of two or three outfits – not the whole closet.) This will make the morning go easier.
- Set out breakfast cereal or other breakfast items the night before. (You might want to make this Mom or Dad’s “homework.”)
- Start getting your child up at the new “school day wake up time” at least a week or two before the first day. Little bodies need time to adjust.
- Have a “Go to school drill.” Set a timer for when the bus will arrive. (Or the car needs to be on the road.) See if your child can have breakfast and be dressed before the timer goes off.
- Be sure to take advantage of any open house that your teacher or school might have.
- If possible, visit the school playground during the summer.
Starting pre-school or Kindergarten is a big adjustment in a child’s life. To make their experience on this sometimes “scary” new journey:
- Work on shoe tying, buttoning, zipping and other self-help skills. Your child will feel more confident if he/she is able to help themselves.
- Decide where the backpack will be kept. This will save valuable time in the morning. (Be sure to empty and check it each night.)
- Check out some back to school books. The Night Before Preschool, The Night Before Kindergarten, The Kissing Hand, and the Miss Bindergarten books are all very good.
In my 34 years of teaching, I never slept well the night before the first day of school, but I sure slept like a log the next night.
Best wishes for a GREAT school year!
Carol Zook grew up in a small town with two younger brothers. She realized she loved children’s books when she took Children’s Literature in college. One of her favorite part of the school day was reading aloud to her classes. She misses that so much. Carol is God’s child, Vaughn’s wife and was a “3 hour mom” to over 1,500 Kindergarten students. She has been published in Pockets, The Secret Place, Guardian Angel Kids e-zine, Learn Every Day About Numbers and Learn Every Day About Social Studies.