5 ways to transition from summer to school

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

The loud buzzing of alarm clocks and groans of school children will soon fill the early morning air in homes around the area, as most DODEA schools begin the 2018-2019 school year on Monday, Aug. 27. After a summer full of adventures, swimming, camps or just playing video games, it’s time to start transitioning the kiddos back to a school mindset. Here are five ways to make it a little easier on everybody when that first bell rings on Monday.

1) Restart the routines. 
If the kids have had free reign on their bedtime and/or wake-up times over the summer, it’s time to start moving that clock backward. Adjust the time a half-hour earlier each night (or every other night) for bedtime, and do the same for waking. It can help make the transition a little less aggravating for everyone.

2) Fight the brain drain.
I’m ashamed to admit that my kids have had enough video games and TV time to last them well into next year. In order to help get your kiddos’ noggins back into the game, have them do a little creative homework. Sudoku, word searches and other puzzles are a great way to start exercising their brains. Writing about their favorite summer memory will not only help with writing skills, but can also serve as a reminder of the fun they had.

3) Reorganize their space.
Both of my kids have grown more than an inch this summer, which means out with the old and in with the new. Take a little time to help de-clutter and reorganize their space. Donate gently used clothes to local thrift shops or other charitable organizations. Check with your local library and schools to see if they accept used books and make extra space on those shelves.

4) Create a family calendar.
I started implementing this about six years ago and it has been a lifesaver. I use a large dry-erase board (a paper desk calendar works great as well) for the month and update it weekly. We use it for practices, upcoming school holidays, vacations, appointments and work schedules. Place it in a common area so everyone can see what’s on tap for the week (or month) ahead. This can help alleviate anxiety and hidden scheduling surprises.

5) Acknowledge the anxiety.
Whether your child is a new or returning student, she may experience the first day jitters or have anxiety. She may feel as though she’s walking into uncharted territory with a new classroom, new teachers, new students and even a new grade. Reassure her that what she’s feeling is completely normal, and the other students (and even teachers) are likely feeling similar.

Happy new school year!

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