The beginning of a new school year is a daunting task for everyone involved. It involves clothes buying, meal planning, pick up and drop off schedules, gearing up for the idea of homework, etc. Meeting the teacher and making sure that the meeting goes well is a whole task in itself! Basically, your life is no longer your own, yet despite the business end of it, school is really a wonderful place to go no matter what your age is.
It is because of this inner struggle, that I have compiled the following list of suggestions. My hope is that anyone in this situation will read my article and find relief. I have faith that whoever reads and follows the suggestions will in deed begin the school year in a positive way.
Step 1: Say the following mantras over and over until you believe them
- "Change is a good thing."
- "Busy does not mean bad."
- "School is a great experience."
- "I can do it and do it well."
Once you accept the fact that your situation is changing, you will accept the change in your routine.
Step 2: Getting organized is key. Come up with a plan of action. Write it down, as the visual will be incentive. If your summer was one of relaxation, then being busy will actually be a step in the right direction. It is as much a mental thing as a physical thing. Tell yourself that busy is good too!
Step 2: Prepare your mind for new learning by finding out what you can do before school starts. If you are an adult going back to school, you can typically access the class syllabus online and do some pre reading. If it is your children attending school, meet the teacher and discuss what you/your child can do to be ready for the first week. It can be as simple as making sure your child has all the necessary supplies ahead of time.
Step 3: Meeting other classroom parents and setting up playdates can make your's and your child's transition into the school year all the smoother. Getting to know other parents can be quite soothing for several reasons. Finding a workable solution to pick up and drop off is a must. Carpooling can be such a positive step in the "back to school" game. For the adult learner, meeting other adults in the same situation can be a great comfort. Homework and test taking can be overwhelming for adults, so setting up study sessions with other adults in your class can be so helpful. Going back to school as an adult learner is hard enough without adding the pressure of homework and exams.
As a teacher, I inevitably found myself surrounded by parents that felt overwhelmed at one time or another regardless of what I or they did to make the transition into the new school year a smooth one. One piece of advice I always gave each family was to simply to keep an open dialogue with all involved, and to take a deep breath and enjoy the experience. People can only do their best and that is all anyone has the right to expect. Being reminded of that fact and that they were never really alone, brought a smile to my parent's faces. I hope my advice will do the same for you!