Although the weather is still quite warm out – there is a certain something in the air that just tells you it’s almost time for back-to-school. Making the transition back to school from the carefree days of summer can be quite a change for kids and parents alike. Not everyone who homeschools takes a summer break, but we did this year. It is a time for us to reassess the year and see what needs to be implemented in the coming year. Whether you are gearing up to start the new school year at home or headed back to school – it can be a trying time and it’s good to have resources to turn to when you need them.
For our family, starting the school year will be a little more challenging than usual. We homeschool, so the kids do not have the stress and anxiety that may come with the first day of a new school or dealing with new teachers – however, our house recently flooded and is torn apart from top to bottom in over half of our house, including the school room. We will have to buy new desks, books & curriculum, and many other things that were destroyed. I am sure that the kids won’t mind spreading out amongst the house to do their schoolwork, but staying on task in such disarray WILL be difficult.
Similarly, to the disarray we are feeling this back-to-school season, many kids who are headed back to school to meet new teachers, new kids in class, and start new curriculum are feeling equally fearful to face what’s on the horizon. One in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia, and many never receive a formal diagnosis. Children with these types of challenges can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers, and schools. This is an especially challenging time for families with children who struggle with reading and writing, math, focus, and organization.
As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. The Ad Council and Understood.org have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. Understood.org is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. Understood.org is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.
Check out these back-to-school tips from the Understood.org website. They helped my family; hopefully, they can help yours too.
- Planning early is important to help relieve stress. Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars, and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. We especially love the Back-to-School Countdown Planner and sample Homework Contract that can actually be used with kids of any age!
- You can also take your child on a school tour to help ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school. This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.
- Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year. This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students. You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.
- Finally, get support! Many parents and students are going through the same experience. org and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.
So, no matter your child’s age or needs, make this Back-to-School season a seamless transition and positive experience! If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, Understood.org is a great place to start.
All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.