I just wrote about helping your children transition from the summer holidays to going back to school. You can read that by clicking on “The Transition“.
How about kids with special needs? They may need a little more time and creative ways to help them with this transition. Below are just some additional ideas to help them adjust to the transition.
- Talk about it. Talk about what school looks like. Talk about their friends and what they will do while they are there. Even doing some role-play activities to help them get into the mindset will help.
- Count down – Make a simple chart with the number of days left until school starts up. Let your child mark off each day. HINT: Don’t start too far away from the first day as it might be too overwhelming. You know your child, so adjust accordingly.
- Visit the school: If the school allows it, make a trip to the school to go and see the classroom, to reconnect BRIEFLY with the teacher. (Hint: Don’t stay more than 5-10 minutes. Teachers love to see you, but they do need to get their work done.)
- GRACE: Give your child grace and give yourself grace those first few weeks that school starts back up. Remember that sometimes change and transitions are not always what we hope or dream they will be – but they eventually do adjust.
I know I need to get started with this transition with Jie Jie. Otherwise she just may think that I threw her into the Arctic Plunge Swim.
If you have a child with special needs, how do you help them get ready for going back to school? Please share in the comments below.
The word transition means different things to different people. For instance:
- Parents bring home their newborn from the hospital
- Freshman in college (or high school)
- Soldier returning home from deployment
- Family moving to a new country
- Summer to Fall
- Summer holiday to “Back to School”
Though, expats and TCKs relate the word with “good-byes”, new countries, and new friends, I’m going to talk about that yearly transition from summer holidays to returning back to school. It is an adjustment – for everyone involved.
For the parents: It’s the return of the SCHEDULE – either homeschool or taking them back to local or international school. Either way, we don’t hear the constant two words, “I’m Bored”. Okay, maybe if you’re like a super Pinterest mom and don’t deal with this issue skip this section, I’m not talking to you. If you are like me…well, I’m still trying to “enjoy the summer,” but I’m ready for everyone to get on a regular schedule.
The kids: You remember. Come on, I know you do. Sleeping in just a little bit later (or a lot later) than school days. Swimming, snacking, playing with friends, and swimming some more. That first morning of school was like being thrown in an Arctic Plunge swim. It shocked your system and was just not a pretty site. Times haven’t changed – it’s tough for our kids, too. Okay, my kids can’t wait to see their friends All Day Long, but they are NOT looking forward to early wake-ups and the dreaded homework.
So, what can we do to help them?
- Start waking them up earlier. It doesn’t have to be the exact time, but definitely maybe trying for a half hour difference. This doesn’t have to be done weeks in advanced either – just a few days before to help their bodies start to adjust.
- Earlier Bedtimes – This goes hand-in-hand with the above. Same rules, a week before or a few days put kids to bed at their normal “school night” bedtime.
- Review Math Skills – This tip is more for elementary school aged children, but buy flashcards and a few weeks before school starts have your kids review them. Their brain has had a break, hopefully, so now is a good time to help them “think” school.
- Reading – If you haven’t had them reading at all this summer, then start. This year we actually are paying our kids to read. They are getting a set amount per book they read and record on their chart. It was an incentive to READ – and I’m afraid that it may just have hurt our pocketbooks, but totally worth it!
- Collect Meal Ideas/Make a Meal Chart – This one is for the cook in the home. I’ve found that when I take the time to make out a two-week meal plan that I actually feed my kids healthier and spend less money at the grocery store. It’s fairly easy to do this at the beginning of the year, but think about doing 4-6 of these charts and rotate them throughout the year.
What do you do with your children? Do you help prepare them? Do you just “throw them into the Arctic Plunge?” Please share in the comments below. Me? I’ll be doing some of it…I’d like to get to the meal plan, but that all depends on how I do with my lesson plans. Remember…I’m not the super Pinterest mom, though I so wish I was.