By Principal Justin Dye of
Heritage Elementary in Phoenix
Why is it important for parents to help children get back on a routine before going back to school?
Throughout the summer many children do not have a routine so it’s important for parents to start building one before school starts to help make the transition less difficult. Children may be used to sleeping in or staying up late, so if parents start a routine before classes begin the first week of school will be more positive for everyone. Establishing a bed time routine and having students wake up earlier a couple of weeks before school starts will help, as well. Instead of TV or video games before bed, parents can have children read or practice another educational skill.
Can you please tell me why it’s important for children to perform educational activities before school starts?
Just like anything, if you don’t practice, you become less skilled, whatever the activity may be. This doesn’t mean kids need to be overloaded with activities. They can just practice certain skills that will help them as school starts again. This could mean keeping a journal and writing about their summer or helping buy groceries at the store. Many libraries provide prizes and incentives for children to read. Reading for just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference.
If children are feeling nervous about going back to school, what different ways can parents help them prepare?
Everyone’s a little nervous the first day or week, even teachers! We do “Meet the Teacher Night” the week before and that seems to help the majority of our students because they get to meet their teacher, see their room, and hopefully see some familiar faces. Having a friend or a sibling walk the nervous child to class the first week will help as well.