by Joan Yesner, Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center Lead Teacher
Just as you’ve finally gotten used to hot summer days, you walk into any store and are bombarded with back-to-school sales. A flood of memories from your childhood smack you in the face. Some good – perhaps some not so good. Take a deep breath. You can do this. You can successfully transition your child back to school.
First, regardless of your own anxiety over the start of school, hide those feelings from your child! If you act like returning to school isn’t a big deal, your child will feed off your positive energy. For example, if your child says, “I don’t want to go back to school.” Your response could be, “ You don’t want to go back to school.” Sometimes this is all you need to do to end the conversation. You are letting your child know that they’ve been heard. Move on. If your child persists in discussing the upcoming school year, quickly and concisely answer their questions or concerns. Treat the beginning of the school year as normally as you treat the start of a new season. It’s just a part of life.
For elementary, middle school, high school and even college students, visit the school at the end of the summer so that it becomes familiar. Walk through the school, follow your child’s schedule so they know where their classrooms are. Show them where the bus drops them off and where the bathroom is. Familiarity breeds comfort.
At the end of the summer, organize a meet-up/play-date for the kids (parents) in the class. Walking into a classroom and seeing a familiar face is always comforting.
Assuming your child’s bedtime in the summer is later than during the school year, slowly change your child’s bedtime the week before school starts. Put them to sleep 15 minutes earlier every night until you reach your desired bedtime. If your child has been going to sleep at 9:30pm and their school year bedtime is 8pm, you will need a week to prepare their new sleep time.
If your child is starting school at the Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center at the Katz JCC, bring them to visit the Imaginarium, our indoor play structure when it is open to the public.(Click here for our hours) and take your child to our outdoor playground. Enjoy swimming in our indoor and outdoor pools. Sign your child up for swim lessons at our award winning Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy. Again, familiarity breeds comfort. Making the JCC your home away from home will help your child feel more comfortable in their school environment.
Our Early Childhood Center offers a Meet & Greet for children and parents the week before school starts. Your child will meet their teachers as well as other children in the class. Having an opportunity to visit the classroom, check out the toys and snacks is a fun way to ease back into the school year.
Early Childhood Families can join us at our Back to School Family Shabbat Dinner on October 27. This special evening enhances the close relationship between your home and your child’s school.
Know that a little apprehension transitioning from summer fun to school is expected. However, if your child is experiencing loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, or behavior problems reach out to your health care professional.
Ready to come meet us and learn more? Call us today to schedule your personal tour! Mention this back to school blog post and receive $250 off your 2017-18 tuition.