Back to school time is here, let’s share some of that back to school insider info! Right now most kids are excited, but also anxious. Going back to school is a scary thing after the long summer. There are many unknowns for children. Things like will they like their teacher? Do their friends remember them? Will they fit in? Will they remember their lunch? What happens if they miss the bus? Will the school work be too hard for them? So many questions floating around in their heads.
There are ways to reduce the stress and help alleviate some of the anxiety produced by going back to school. This is especially important if your child has any kind of special needs or global delays. This may include ASD, autism, ADHD, OCD, or any of the many anxiety producing disorders. Let’s take a look at a few.
- Talk to your child about school. The younger your child is the more they need help thinking about school and processing what they are feeling. Talking about what is going to happen and some things they could expect will help a lot.
- Tour the school. Take the time to attend the open house and meet the teacher. Find your child’s classroom. Maybe hang out for a while and see who else may be in the same class. In the elementary ages this step is critical but even in the middle and high school age group this is an important part of the transition.
- If your child has special needs it may be necessary to create a picture schedule ( you can find out how here) of the new daily routine to help them remember it. It helps to have it posted so they can refer to it in the mornings. This will help them remember if they have physical education that day for example they can make sure to bring their tennis shoes. It’s just one more way of giving them confidence that they have what they need to be successful.
- Create a homework workstation. It seems like all the children have homework daily these days. Even our preschooler is bringing homework home! Make sure you set aside a time and place for that to happen. It may be a desk all decked out with pencils and sharpeners or it may be the kitchen table. It doesn’t matter as long as it is consistent. Studies have shown that doing homework in the same place at the same time each day helps with memory retention. In our family we also diffuse a few essential oils to help with memory and concentration.
- Have a good supply of after school snacks ready and waiting. Most kids have very little time to actually eat lunch at school. By the time they get home they are starving! Having healthy, nutritious snacks ready to go helps alleviate that “hangry” feeling. Our go to’s are fresh fruit, crackers, cheese sticks or homemade cookies.
Don’t forget these!
- During the first few weeks of school set up a couple playdates for your child. I have noticed that when children see each other outside of the classroom or playground it adds another level of depth to their friendship and helps cement their shared experiences.
- Make sure your child is getting enough play time. During the school year it is all too easy to focus on academics and extracurricular activities. But give them plenty of time for unstructured play. Let them veg out with their legos building or play in the dress up box and pretend to be someone else for a bit. This will actually help their learning excel and gives them time to be creative without rules.
- Allow them outdoor time. Most schools allow only minimal time outdoors for recess and many schools are continually cutting what little time kids do have outside. It is well known that being in nature improves mental health, physical health and cognitive health. So get them outside and give them a chance to run off the anxiety they are feeling!
By working together with your child you can help ease their transition back into the school routine. This will make the school year so much more enjoyable. Kids want to learn and have fun, it’s our job as adults to help them get to that point.
For more back to school tips check out this post!
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