Back to School time can be a highly traumatic time for some families. This is particularly true with families of gifted and 2E children. So many worries about expectations, services, friendships, and more. The list goes on and on.
But, with a little preparation, the transition to school can go a lot smoother. Here are few things that have worked in the Fonseca household:
- Practice, Practice, Practice: We start practice our morning school routine two weeks before school starts. Since our entire household leaves for school every morning (my husband and I both work in education), we are out of the house early. This can be difficult. So, we implement early bedtimes and early rising about 10 days before school starts – getting up and ready for school within the same time frames as we will need to during the school year.
- Preparation: To help with getting out the door on time, we prepare. Clothes are picked the night before, backpacks are packed and ready by the door, lunches are prepped as much as possible, as is breakfast. All of this helps guarantee a smooth transition out the door in the morning.
- Thinking Skills: One of the hardest aspects of the transition back can actually relate to academic performance. So, we actually brush up on the educational basics during those ten days prior to school starting. Yes, we do enrichment all summer, but I am talking about brushing up on the basics of typical education: time drills, quick writing prompts, etc. an hour or two a day is all it takes to fine tune the brain and brush off the summer cobwebs.
- Transitions: If your child is changing schools, programs, etc, it’s a good idea to do a little extra preparation. For a new campus, visit the school and take a tour. If he/she is changing classes for the first time, walk the schedule so the child has some muscle memory of where to go. If he/she will have lockers for the first time, practice doing the lock. Take about PE and changing out if that is a new skill. Be sure to ask about anything and everything your child may feel apprehensive about. The more you can prepare, the more comfortable your child will feel on those first days.
These are just a few things that can make those first weeks of school less traumatic for both parents and kids!
For more school related tips, check out 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids. Written for kids themselves, the book has tons of easy tips for surviving school, friendships and more.