Starting the school year is a great time to set habits that will carry your family through a successful school year! But it’s time to get a plan in place, that way everyone is ready to go when school is back in session.
Set a regular meal time
Let’s face it, September can be a hard transition for everyone moving from relaxing summer days to a full fall schedule. One thing that we can do as parents is plan an easy meal schedule for the same time every evening. Having some easy go-to recipes will help to get dinner to the table on time. This can make the bedtime routine easy as well! How you ask? Having a dinner routine followed by a bedtime routine will set up a schedule that is easy for kids to follow and understand. Big hint on this one: START SOON! We all know that summer means later bedtimes so move back to a fall schedule gradually beginning now. Having this routine set before school begins will make everyone’s transition a little smoother.
Make a plan for organization and work
September most likely means transitioning back to homework. Setting a plan for checking backpacks, monitoring class notices, and checking in on homework is good for parents and students. While younger students may need a lot of support to get these routines and habits in place, students will eventually be able to come to the routine more and more independently.
Have a designated time and place to complete homework. Show students where to share school notes with parents and have a place to put backpacks for the next day. Older students will need these reminders to set these plans back in place. They will be more responsible for their day to day tasks but might need some gentle reminders to get back on track.
No homework? Keep that time as a work time and find resources to reinforce skills such as multiplication tables or sight words. MTT Education Station is an amazing FREE resource that can provide practice for students from certified teachers. Here are a few examples of the learning resources available:
- Kindergarten Syllable Sort
- 1st Grade Rainbow Sight Word Challenge
- 2nd Grade Addition Word Problems
- 3rd Grade Squiggly Writing
- 4th Grade Rocket Math Facts Challenge
- 5th Grade Fill in the Blank Stories
Stay in touch with their teacher
It’s important to reach out to teachers at the beginning of the year and let them know the best way to reach you. Most likely you will get some type of form for younger students, but for older students you may need to find the contact information on class rubrics. Reach out early AND often! Set a reminder to contact teachers at the beginning of each month so you can stay in the loop with what is happening at school.
School year goals
The beginning of the year is a great time to set goals! What do students want to learn this year or do better than last year? Sit down with your child at the beginning of the year and set goals. This can get them motivated to start the year. It is also great to talk about personal goals for things outside of academics. While setting goals ask them to think about what steps they need to take in order to reach their goals. It’s also important to ask what help they will need, this is a great way to let them feel supported. You can also think of it like their New Year Resolutions but for the school year! A great way to get them on track from the beginning. Need a helpful organizer or setting goals? Check out the resource here!
Was this too much? Pick just a few things to focus on. Once those have become easy add another goal. Having an organized plan will help everyone’s transition from summer fun to fall learning.
Tiffany Verhoosel is currently a Computer Science teacher in the Baltimore City School District. Coming from a background of business she joined the Baltimore City Teaching Residency over ten years ago to make the career change into education and has never looked back. Her degree from Johns Hopkins, a Master of Science in Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology, helped propel her from Special Educator to her current teaching position where she teaches Kindergarten to eighth grade students how to code.