• Goodbye Summer, Hello School! The Definitive Guide to a Smooth School Year Transition

    Goodbye Summer, Hello School! The Definitive Guide to a Smooth School Year Transition

    Goodbye Summer, Hello New School Year!

    For kids, summer vacation seems to last forever; for parents it feels like it’s over in the blink of an eye. After three months of fun (and more ice cream than anyone should reasonably consume) it can be hard to get back into a school routine. Here are some easy ways to ensure a smooth and successful start to a new school year.

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    No More Late Nights

    Some kids love summer because they can stay up as late as you’ll allow them. For this reason, one of the most important steps to getting ready for school is establishing a normal sleeping schedule. Studies show that children with variable sleep schedules are more likely to be tired in school and have difficulty paying attention. The sooner they get back into a school-focused sleeping pattern, the better.

    Instead of announcing “8:00 is bedtime” when they’ve been staying up later, try moving bedtime back by 15 or 20 minutes intervals every few days until you’ve reached the desired hour. Computers, smartphones, and TV can keep kids energetic and hyper, so emphasize a pre-sleep “quiet time.” They’ll be more relaxed and ready for sleep, and prepared to tackle the next day.

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    The Summer Reading List

    Almost every child receives some kind of summer reading list or work assignment, so if they haven’t tackled those yet, now’s the time to start. Carve out time every day for them to work (or read), and make yourself available in case they need help. If they have to write an essay about their summer vacation, help them find a topic to write about. Getting them to think about the summer in the past tense might also help them subtly prepare for the imminent school year.

    Try Something New

    A new school year is an opportunity for children to try something new. Talk to them about extra-curricular activities or teams they may want to join. If they picked up a new interest over the summer, see if there’s way to translate it into a school activity; if they adored their first summer at camp, for instance, maybe they’d like to join an outdoors club.

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    The end of summer is often bittersweet, but with planning and preparation, the start of a new school year can be just as exciting as the end of one.

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