Monday, August 25, 2014

Beating the Back to School Blues

Maybe your kids are ready to go back to school? My kid, not so much! He's great when it comes to academic and social aspects of school, but it's always hard to get him back into a school routine. There's nothing that stings quite like hearing a child proclaim "ugh, I don't like school." I'm sure my child doesn't mean it, however, this is the exact statement I get a few days before the 1st day of school. It isn't that he doesn't like school. It's just hard for him to say goodbye to summertime fun. I understand.

So this is how we're handling the back to school blues:

My son has begun journaling. This is a great way for kids to write down their feelings, nervousness, excitement, or in my kid's case, avoidance of back to school. There are actually great school year planners that make journaling fun. These planners ask kids questions, map out their goals and allow kids to write down daily to-dos. My son got one of these neat planners (The Whimpy Kid School Planner) recently and he immediately began writing away. This process got him so much more excited about third grade. 

Planning play dates with school friends.  This is another great way to get kids back into the swing of things.  So my kid may not know who his teacher will be, what friends he'll have in class, but he knows kids from school and just being around them gets him giddy and pumped about seeing them on the playground every recess. 

Back to school shopping is such a great way to beat the blues. This is a ritual for most families, but remember not to make this feel like just another chore. Let kids pick what they want, moms. I know sometimes "what they want" means them picking out impractical lunch pails and impossibly loud t-shirts, but their excitement should outweigh momma's good sense (at least half the time). Get kids thinking about the outfits they'll wear, the books they'll read and all else. This should help add to the positivity of back to school season. 

Talk about what the next grade level specifically has to offer! This might sound silly but every grade level has something neat about it. For my kiddo there are a couple of key details to consider. For starters, he gets to do some fun school projects as a third grader (i.e. Spanish classes). He also gets to feel like a pretty big deal since his school divides playgrounds into two groups: 1st-3rd and 4th-5th. Being the oldest in one of the playgrounds makes him feel like a big cheese! Kids his age love feeling "older." Next, in our school district, every 3rd graders receives a chrome tablet for the year. After filling him in on this detail he was suddenly not so resistant about going back to school!

How do you get your reluctant little ones ready for back-to-school?

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