Summer has come to the end for many students. Although the actual event of the Summer season is still in fruition, another semester has come for back to school. Many parents and some children are excited for the school year to start.
For some parents this will be their first time letting go of their baby and seeing them off to school. Others, this is an experience that they’ve lived already. If you’re new to the school aged-back to school adventure, here are some crucial tips for you and your child to be successful. And a reminder for those of us who’ve experienced this event.
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Sleep Routines are Important
I remember the day I received a note from my youngest son’s teacher. It read something like this, “today your son seemed a bit tired and sleepy and wasn’t participating much in class.” Yes, I was that parent whose son was exhausted in the classroom and wasn’t too enthusiastic about circle time or wanting to play with puzzles or toys. I felt terrible but recalled the night before when my boys didn’t want to cooperate and go to sleep because they were just too “wired up” to fall into bed.
Usually after they get home from school, they both take a nap. So by the time they wake up from their nap, they are energized and don’t want anything to do with going to bed when they’re supposed to.
From this momma to another, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep so they can have the energy and brainpower to learn at school. I’ve tried my best these past couple of weeks to ensure they go to bed early since during this Summer time off from school, both had been going to bed somewhat later than usual. School starts this coming week, so starting the bed time routine is a must so their bodies get used to the new school schedule.
A Happy Stomach Equals a Fueled Brain
This past school year, I had the opportunity to make breakfast for my boys and send them to school fed. They are in a school where they offer free meals to every child, which we are blessed with as there are many schools that don’t offer this program.
Even with this program, I made an effort to send them off with something in their stomachs, whether it was oatmeal, a fruit or at least a glass of milk. While I work from home, I only have 15 minutes of break while my husband gets them ready for school so I would rush and make oatmeal for them with their glass of milk. Yes, it’s not a big breakfast but afterwards they would eat at school too.
This upcoming year, they started a new program where breakfast will be served in the classroom as many kids would get to school late and not be able to eat anything. This is a great idea and I’m glad they did this!
Having something in their stomachs is very important so they can fuel their little brains and be willing to learn rather than have to focus on their rumbling little tummy.
Although I wasn’t much of a breakfast person while in college, I fondly remember my school years and the times I would go to the school cafeteria and getting my plate of food, oh the yummy scent of baked cornbread, oatmeal and at times pancakes. I really enjoyed cafeteria food!A Happy Stomach Equals a Fueled Brain. Don't let them focus on the rumbling, only on the learning. Click To Tweet
Be There for Your Child
Every kid is smart and knows when you are paying attention to them or not. Much more when it comes to their school activities. This week we had our boy’s Open Houses where we meet their teachers and get the list of school supplies and see the other children they’ll be with. At that moment we get to know somewhat what the teacher is like and maybe tell them a little about our children. Lucky for us, our boys got the same teacher so they were familiar with our boys and how they are in class.
Not only in open houses but also in any activity, especially if they’re in sports, dance or even plays. Be willing to partake in at least most of those activities where encouragement and motivation are needed. Last school year I recall a 5-year-old in my son’s class who got a little sad when he didn’t see his mother in their Achievements Ceremony.
He was my son’s friend and was with my son when he was looking around and questioning me where his mom was. This just broke my heart that I just told him that his mom wanted to be there but maybe got stuck at work or somewhere else. His eyes just got glassy as if wanting to tear up. Children really see when we are there for them and we should be. Even if we keep in contact with their teachers via text message or through other means. Show interest in their activities!This tip is crucial in your child's academic success. READ it here. Click To Tweet
Be Their Homework Superhero
If you think you’re stressed with all the work you have to juggle throughout the day, imagine a 5 year old, 10-year-old or a teenager. We sometimes think they don’t stress or have worries in their daily school lives, but that’s not true. I remember all those state tests we had to take in order to see if you were eligible to pass to the next grade level or even to graduate.
That was stressful for me! I dislike test-taking and just thinking about it makes me nervous.
I vividly remember back in elementary when my mother had to take me to a teacher to get some help on a History assignment because my mother wasn’t able to help me. Even if you aren’t able to help your child yourself, find ways that you can help them. Either taking them for additional tutoring or nowadays there are computers to do in-depth research.
Sometimes kids want to do what they want and have no interest in doing the homework. Find ways to encourage them to work on it. Last semester, my oldest wasn’t too motivated to start his homework one afternoon so what I did was ask if he wanted to play superhero dress-up and he said yes.
So I told him, if you finish your homework, I will dress up as Wonder Woman and you can wear your Batman outfit. It worked! Immediately he took out his homework and pencil to start working. (In case you were wondering, we had a Superhero birthday party so I had that Wonder Woman outfit).
Here it is in case you’re interested. Of course, I only wore the headband and cape but this is the outfit I have (and I look nothing like her):
Only you know what your child’s interests are so you can find something that will spark that enthusiasm to do homework or push them to excel on their homework. His teacher would let me know that he could tell when parents were helping their children or were involved with their child’s homework.Become your child's superhero and spark that interest in their homework if it means to have to dress like this... Click To Tweet
Be a Positive Role Model
With all the different routines going on, there are going to be days when we don’t feel like getting up, going to work and much less our kids wanting to go back to school, especially if they have to go off to school if you don’t home-school. Attitudes might change about wanting to go back to school due to the different teachers, friends and curriculum.
But with all this we must not show any negative attitude about having to go to school. Children IMITATE everything you do, even if you think they’re not watching…they ARE!
This Summer I enrolled my oldest in a Summer program which he didn’t want to go to. I told him it was for his own good and that he would be meeting new friends, learning different things and going on field trips. I was explaining this to him with a positive and enthusiastic voice and asking him, “don’t you want to go on field trips to places you haven’t gone and meet new friends?!” Of course he was reluctant at first but after he went on his first field trip, he was really excited and talking about his trip. After that he was okay with going to this Summer program.
You need to be there for your child when those tough situations arise and they want nothing to do with school or friends. Being there for them, showing support and encouraging them will demonstrate that you will back them up no matter how tough the situation gets. They can learn and see that you will be there to hold them, hug them and be there when needed. Sometimes all they need to hear is, “I love you and I’m here for you.”Sometimes when school is tough, all your child needs to hear from you is this... Click To Tweet
If you follow the tips mentioned above, 1) Have a sleep routine, 2) Make or send them off with breakfast, 3) Be there for your child, 4) Help them with their homework and 5) Be a positive role model, you will sure Ace back to school! If you’re ever concerned about your child’s grades or attitude, make sure to reach out to their teacher, counselors or anyone else that will help your child succeed.
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