Those last few weeks before school resumes in the fall are a bittersweet time for all—students, parents, and teachers. We don’t want those summer days to end, whether we spent them traveling to new places; working to make some money or get some experience; or enjoying a rare, laid-back time of doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to. But the crisp, cool days of fall also carry a promise of good things to come. A new school year means a new beginning, new friends, and being that much closer to achieving your goals. How can you make the most of these last few weeks? Whether you are the student, the parent, or the teacher, here are 5 ways to make the transition easier:
- Review, refresh. For students, that might mean using a workbook or study guide for an hour or so each day to brush up on topics you found difficult last year. For parents and teachers, you may want to consider what worked and what didn’t in terms of how you handled the logistics of getting your student off to school or the dynamics of your classroom.
- Prepare for the year ahead. Is the school supply list available? Start filling it. Have your children outgrown their clothes? Start shopping—and allow them to make their own choices, when possible. Consider the choices for after-school activities, too, whether sports, clubs, or volunteer activities. Teachers, have you gotten any new ideas over the summer that you may want to try out in the classroom?
- Check it out. Figure out and time the commute to school, whether that means a walk, a car ride, or public transportation. Show your child the classroom he or she will be in, or at least the school itself and the grounds around it. Work out who will pick them up after school and where they’ll go.
- Be ready. Gradually start preparing your student for waking up on time by adjusting summer bedtimes and waking times. Start a couple of weeks ahead. School-day mornings can be less hectic when everyone prepares the night before: make lunches, set out clothes, and pack everything needed for the next day in a backpack or briefcase.
- Plan a treat for that first day. Gather the family for a special dinner—or at least a special dessert—and listen to everyone’s stories about the first day of the new school year.