The other day I looked at the calendar and realized that there was only 3 weeks until school started. I’m pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head and my jaw dropped. Where the flip did summer go? I have super mixed feelings about summer being over soon. Regardless of how you feel, here are 4 back-to-school prep tips.
How are you feeling? Are you team – get them back to school asap? Or team – NOOOOOOOOOOO more school? If you are like me than you are in the middle. To be honest I never thought I’d be the mom where I wanted my kids to go back to school and happily skip off after I dropped them off.
But to be honest, I kind of am. This summer has been one for the books. We have had a lot of fun! We have also had a lot of super hard moments. The later part makes me excited to have some more separation.
The other part of me never wants them to go back. I want to be the one to teach them, keep them safe, make them laugh, etc. I do realize that is not realistic. Kids need to be social. They need to learn differently than from what and how I can teach them.
We also learned (thanks to Covid-19 and last school year) that I am not the home-schooling mom I thought, and so badly wanted to be. THAT’S OKAY!! It has taken me a lot of time to be able to say that.
Anyways…. That’s not why you are here. 😊
I have 4 back-to-school prep tips for you as we get ready to head back to school. If your kiddos are already back in school, you can still benefit from these tips. So, please keep reading.
4 Back-to-School Prep Tips
This one is pretty obvious. However, my approach might be more laid back than one might think. Especially coming from a former first grade teacher.
Read to and with your child every day. That’s basically it. Don’t make it a huge thing. It doesn’t need to be super structured or educational. Reading daily is one of the BEST academic things you can do with your children to help them get ready for kindergarten.
- Modeling what a good reader does
- Bonding time
- Increased vocabulary
- Modeling fluency (rate, accuracy, expression)
- Concepts of print (book holding, turning pages, direction we read, etc.)
- And more
If you want to go a bit deeper than ask your child some basic comprehension questions during and after the book. Some examples are:
- What was your favorite part?
- Who were the characters? (characters)
- What happened? (Basic retell)
- What was the story about? (Basic retell or plot)
- Where were they in the story? (setting)
I would stick to 1-3 questions and keep it lighthearted.
You might be thinking that I want you to start talking all things educational. That’s not it at all. 😊 I want you to have conversations with your child about their day, their feelings, what they are doing, what they want to do, what makes them happy, and so on.
This is a good time to start having daily one on one time with each child (don’t roll your eyes at me! I have 5 kids and so I know how hard this is.). Even 5 minutes where it’s just the two of you talking.
Get them in the habit of freely sharing what’s in their heart. In turn you need to share what you are feeling. You need to be the example of opening up and talking to them.
A few things to try:
- Daily conversations at dinner time about the day. You can have specific questions you always ask. It can be everyone shares something that make them sad and happy.
- Snack time chats
- Bedtime back scratches with talking
- Everyone has a chance to write something down (or one sentence) in the family book about their day.
Don’t underestimate the power of talking with and really listening to your children.
Love on Them
I know you love your children. It is easy, usually, to love on them and give them the love and attention they need. But now is the time to amp it up! They will be gone for 6-8 hours a day. So why you have them home now during the summer love on them.
Spend time resting and snuggling together. Spend time reading, playing games, watching movies together. Show your children you love them without saying you love them. Don’t stop saying it, just show them by your actions as well.
This summer has been really hard for me to really and truly enjoy my children. It seems like Eddy has had to work a lot extra. We have had a lot more fighting and conflicts. This has made it hard for me to relax and let things slide off my back.
So, with the last few weeks that we have left of summer I am going to take full advantage to share and show my love to my children. I want and need them to go to school knowing they have my love and support at home.
I hope that will help them to be able to enjoy school and feel safe.
Safety is a huge concern for me while my children are not in my presence. Part of that is my anxiety. Okay, a huge part of that is my anxiety!
In addition to talking to my children (again) about stranger danger, I will be doing the following things (again):
- Making sure all my school aged children know my phone number and address
- Good touch and bad touch
- When they hear or see something that makes them uncomfortable, what to do
- Bus safety (we have to bus this year, bla!)
We have had these conversations before. We will have them again and again. I really think these topics are things that need to be addressed many times to make sure our kiddos understand.
What are you doing in the last few weeks before school starts to prep your kiddos for school? Is there anything else you would add to this list of 4 back-to-school prep tips?
Here are more back-to-school prep tips: