COUNSELOR'S CORNER: START OF NEW SCHOOL YEAR TIPS FOR FAMILIES
The start of a new school year can be such an emotionally charged time of year—one filled with excitement, joy, anticipation, and wonder as students meet their new teachers, reconnect with and meet new classmates, and begin the next chapter of their educational journey. It can also be a time filled with anxiety, worry or doubt for all the same reasons. Students leave behind the more relaxed schedule of the summer months and work to develop a new rhythm and structure for a new school year. As we enter into the first few days of the school year, here are some things to think about to help develop a strong foundation to support your child(ren) throughout the school year.
Establish Daily Routines
No matter how old your children are, there are so many beautiful benefits to having a daily routine. First, it is a great start to laying a strong foundation for your student’s success. Providing routines help to promote positive social, emotional, and cognitive development. Routines offer a level of predictability and expectation that foster a sense of comfort and security. When children feel safe and secure, they are more available to take in new information and navigate through situations (positive or negative) more effectively throughout their day. Routines also support development of healthy habits, skill development such as organization/ time management, and a sense of responsibility with an increasing sense of independence as they get older. A good routine for families is not a "one size fits all" approach. To establish a good routine, it must be one that is best suited to the needs of your family. And, it is so important as you establish these daily routines with added fun and relaxation time!
When creating routines, give focus to:
- Scheduled time to wake up to start the day and a routine for getting ready and preparing for the day ahead.
- Snack and meal times
- Spending time together. Have a check in about the day, play a game together, and/or go for a walk.
- After school activities/sports. Have a routine for preparing clothes/items for the day ahead and for where items/clothes go when students return home
- Doing chores at home, such as setting the table, cleaning up toys/bedroom, and caring for family pets.
- Doing homework. Set up a time and an area at home.
- Find a home for belongings. When children come home from school, find a place for shoes, jackets, backpacks to go and an area where school supplies can be organized.
- Schedule a time for winding down from the day and getting ready for bed, which may include reading a book, listening to music, journaling, or having quiet time.
- Scheduled time to go to bed. Having a good night’s sleep is so important as children are growing and developing. Research has shown having adequate sleep on a routine basis supports overall good physical, mental, and cognitive health.
Want to learn more about building healthy routines for your family? Click here.
Develop a Growth Mindset
Life happens! Even with all the wonderful planning and development of a daily routine and schedule life can, and does, throw some curveballs. When this occurs, fostering a growth mindset will certainly provide support. A great way as parents to begin to develop and strengthen this with your child(ren) is by checking in with them about their day. What is something you learned today? What was your "sticky spot" for the day, and how did you handle it? What did you learn from it? Listen to what your child shares, offer validation for their feelings, highlight and praise them for their efforts while working through the process to tackle or manage a problem, support them with setting goals.
Interested in learning more about how you can support/foster your child's growth mindset? View a short Ted Talk featuring psychologist Carol Dweck, known for her growth mindset work, or her check out her book, Mindset: The Psychology of Success.
Connect with Us!
As a part of the RA/LP school community, our families make the difference! And, the faculty and staff are all here to offer support, guidance and lend an ear when needed or wanted. The faculty and staff are all committed to ensure that your child(ren) are inspired and feel heartfelt joy as learners. Your partnership in your child’s education here at RA/LP is valued, greatly appreciated, and a vital part of our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out, even if it is just to say "hi!". We would love to hear from you!