Here We Go! (Are We Ready??)

Welcome Back Everyone!  I hope your summer was a good one and everyone is feeling ready for the new school year.
Back To School School Education Pencil Lea
Each kid (and parent) feels differently about the end of summer/beginning of school.  Some feel super excited and ready, others feel huge anxiety or even dread.  Most of us feel a whole mixture of feelings all at once - happy, excited, nervous, worried, sad - just to name a few.  The return to routine can feel like a shock to the system. It's a big change, and regardless of how positive your child feels about it, it is to be expected that it feels like a somewhat stressful time of year.  Change is hard, even when the change is a good thing.
I once heard it explained that for kids starting a new school year it was similar for us as adults when we start a new job - a new workspace, employer, co-workers, routines, etc. to adjust to.  And we expect kids to do this every year!  How do we help guide them through this adjustment?
Here are some things I will be intentional about with my own family at home, and where applicable with the kids at school, to help ease the stress of this transition time.  You may want to try some yourself or perhaps you have your own ideas to share - I'd love to hear them! 

  • Helping kids express their "mixed up emotions" about the change.  Try to model it yourself by name all of your emotions about back to school and help them try to put all of theirs into words.  Remind them it's very expected that we would feel a whole variety of emotions at the same time.  
  • Checking in with them more intentionally over the first few weeks - asking lots of questions about their new class, watching for any changes in their moods, behaviours, etc.  
  • Sleep!  It can be so tough to re-adjust to a regular bedtime routine after the beautiful lack of structure we call summer vacation.  But getting adequate sleep will help your child better handle the change.
  • Being intentional about downtime.  Back-to-school time usually also means back to the busy-ness of the more scheduled things that might be a part of life outside of school.  While super-fun, it can also be tiring and emotionally draining at first.  Try to be sure to schedule in some time for quiet, rest and downtime just hanging out at home.  Free playtime is often when kids process their feelings and experiences, so making sure they have time to do just that is a huge benefit.  
I am super excited to start up a new year at Elmdale!  We will work hard here to ensure your child's transition to their new classroom is as positive as possible.  If at any time during the year you notice your child is having a difficult time at school, please don't hesitate to contact me or your child's teacher.  My job is to look out for kids' well-being and I'm happy to help out where I can.  

I wish your family a fun-filled year of learning and growth!