Transitioning Back-to-School Tips
August is flying by and that means the new school year is around the corner. For some kids, this can mean excitement and happiness; however, for other kiddos this can be a time filled with anxiousness and stress.
This blog post will discuss different strategies to promote a positive transition into the school year!
1. Create A Social Story:
Social stories are a great way to help prep any kiddo for new events/circumstances before they take place to reduce any anxieties or uncertainties. Social stories allow adults to explain to children what type of social behavior and cues are expected as well as help teach about what is to come. Starting the conversation about school about two weeks before it begins will make the transition less abrupt and overwhelming.
2. Do A Trial Run:
If possible, try to find a day before school begins to drive over to your child's school with them to become acclimated to the environment so when the first day of school begins, they are already familiar with their surroundings. This may help them feel at ease knowing they have been to the school before. Some schools may even have open houses or orientations before school begins to allow future students to tour the school and see their classrooms. If this is available, try to join in on these opportunities! Preparation is the key towards decreased uncertainty.
3. Get Into Routine:
During summer, anything goes but, getting back into a "normal" routine that is consistent with the school year, could be a good way to reduce any upcoming school year stress for your child. About two weeks before school begins, try to get your child back into a consistent routine that involves their school year bedtime and school year wakeup time, a proper nighttime routine, and a proper morning routine.
4. Allow Them to Have A Say:
Try to get your child involved in the back-to-school shopping such as purchasing school supplies, picking out a new backpack, lunchbox, planner. You can also provide them with a list of lunch and snack options they can choose from for the school year. These strategies will help give your child a sense of autonomy, which may provide them with comfort.
5. Create A Schedule:
Depending on your child's age, developing a picture and/or written schedule consisting of your child's priorities and obligations each day of the week may help them better understand what needs to be accomplished. Each morning, talk with them about what events and priorities are expected of them for that day. Schedules are a good way to promote predictability and certainty.
6. Play Date With School Friend:
Try getting together with a friend in their new class or a friend that will be attending their school so that your child can become adjusted to familiar faces in their school.
Joleen. (2022, October 28). Transitioning back to school with ideas from an occupational therapist. TEAM4Kids. https://www.team4kids.com/transitioning-back-to-school-with-ideas-from-an-occupational-therapist/
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