Sunday, September 9, 2007

Transition Tips for the New School Year

We know making the transition from the summer to a new school year can be a difficult one for many parents. Figuring out new schedules, homework expectations and helping children adapt to new environments is a big task for parents and we here at Jefunira Camp want to help! Here is a list of tips suggested by the National Association of School Psychologists on their web site

* Re-establish bedtime and mealtime routines early in the year to help remind your child(ren) of their school year schedules.

* Turn off the TV. The NASP suggests keeping television off limits during all school weeks, but if thats not reasonable for your family, limiting TV time during the first month of school will help your child focus on getting into a good homework routine. Which leads us to...

* Designate a space to do homework that is consistently quiet and free of distractions. For older children, studying in their own rooms may be the best bet, while younger children should work in a common family space to help facilitate check ins and help.

* Remain calm and positive. We know its hard not to panic when you see that your child is in a class with someone who they have had trouble with in the past, but before you send your child into high anxiety, there a several steps you can take to set them up for a more successful year. 1) Let your childs teacher know of the past issues, and what was done to address them. 2) Reassure your that their teachers are aware of the issues and are working to create a positive experience this year. 3)Reinforce your childs ability to cope by giving them some strategies to use should minor issues arise. Make sure they know to tell a teacher if the problem persists or become more severe.

* For older children, find out from their teachers which days will be homework or study intensive, and plan extracurricular activities accordingly around that schedule

* And finally, remind your children that just because summer vacation is over, their enjoyment of the year doesn't have to end! Look over their upcoming curriculum together and find items that they are excited about, or projects you can work on as a family.

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