Karyn Ginsburg, M.Ed.
(781) 929- 1578
Karyn Ginsburg, M.Ed. has agreed to offer five tips for parents of children transitioning back to school after summer break. Ms. Ginsburg is a graduate of the Tufts University Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. An educator for many years, she has served as a classroom teacher, learning specialist, consultant and tutor. She has a private practice in Arlington, MA tutoring children who have dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges.
Arrange a get-together for your child and another student who will be in the same classroom so that they have an opportunity to connect with a peer before school begins. Kids can talk about their thoughts going into a new grade, and may even get more excited to return to school if they know a friend will be there. If your child is new to the area, try checking out the school or even the local library for grade-specific summer events.
If the school allows it, take your child to see the classroom and to meet the teacher ahead of time. Teachers are busy setting up their classrooms, so plan to stop in for just a few minutes. Alternatively, if the teacher is hosting an open house, make an effort to clear your schedule for the event. An open house will include other students and parents, so everyone can get to know each other and the classroom ahead of the new school year.
If possible, avoid scheduling extracurricular activities during the first week of school. Children are taking in a lot of new information and will likely need some unstructured time to play and rest when they get home. Older children with established extracurricular activities may have to attend them, but younger students will benefit from having some time to unwind after school. They can talk about their experiences with mom and dad, get used to the evening homework routine and relax.
To minimize the chaos of the first morning, include your child in choosing an outfit and putting all necessary school supplies in a backpack before the first day of school. Be sure to include any work that may have been assigned over the summer. The entire school year is likely to go more smoothly if you build these daily tasks into your routine.
If your child has been staying up late during the summer, start to transition back to an earlier bedtime at least a week before the start of school. It will be nearly impossible for them to fall asleep if you have maintained the same later bedtime until school begins. Moreover, some children have a hard time falling asleep due to the excitement and anxiety of the first day of school. Therefore, you may consider beginning your bedtime routine a little earlier than you might otherwise. You can always adjust it during the first month of the school year.