End the Summer with No Regrets

by Calgary’s Child Magazine

The boy holds many books in handsIt seems like just last week we were planning for the start of summer! For most Calgarian children, school starts in a few weeks.

Where Did the Time Go?

It can be hard for everyone in the family to change gears from unscheduled, endless days to the back to school routines of early bed times followed by early morning risings, packing lunches, homework and after school activities. To help make this transition go more smoothly, here are some tried and true tips for making the trip back to the school just a littler easier for everyone in the family.

We have a summer wish list that we all work on together at the beginning of summer, each of us add two or three ‘must do’ summer activities and we try to do one or two of them a week during the summer. Ask your child if there is anything that they really wanted to do this summer that hasn’t happened yet, make a day of it and end the summer with no regrets.

Get Your Kids Excited About Back-to-School!

Okay, so maybe your kids don’t agree that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but it is wonderful to gather all the new, unused school supplies and pack them carefully away in a new backpack or pencil case. Take your kids along school supply shopping when you are unrushed and have time to shop together for just the right pack of pencil crayons and the perfect shade of gel pens. (Make sure to check and see if your school has a class set of supplies shared between everyone – if so, pick one or two special items for their personal use.)

Phase in a Routine

One of the hardest transitions from summer to fall is bed time. Over the next few days, slowly make bed time and morning wake-up time return to normal – you can even try a dry run of a typical school morning. This is a great opportunity to start new organisational habits such as having the backpack packed (with the completed homework) at the front door, clothes laid out the night before…you get the idea.

Practice the School Route

If your child is just starting school or now has to take a bus for the first time, it can eliminate a lot of anxiety to walk or ride the bus route together before school starts. Point out landmarks along the way and, if applicable, review how and where to cross the road safely, block parent houses on the route and stranger safety. If your child is younger, a visit or two to the school playground before hand can also help to provide a sense of familiarity.

Celebrate Their New Milestone

Take your child out one-on- one for a special date, maybe a lunch or dinner, and talk about their new school year, your memories of that grade and how much older and more responsible they now are to be in this higher grade. This can provide the reassurance some children need before they start a new experience.

Get Involved at School

Studies show that children whose parents volunteer do better in school and it’s a great way to show your children that you value and support their education. The choices of volunteer tasks available at school is endless, everything from help in the library, serving at hot lunch days to cutting out art supplies at home, every little bit helps and is very appreciated.

And finally, don’t forget the camera! These times speed by so quickly – enjoy and embrace every moment.