As I was driving to work this morning, I noticed a lot more cars on the road. It took a while, but then I realized why … many districts here in Georgia are heading back to school this week. With kids heading back to school and teachers heading back to the classroom, I have to make a transition of my own – leaving a few minutes earlier due to school buses, carpools, and school zones.
My kids will return to school on August 15, which means it is time to start back-to-school shopping. This is a task that I dread – dragging two unwilling boys to the stores for everything from new clothes to new backpacks. Fortunately, my sons don’t care about the latest trends and styles – they just want to be done as fast as possible and escape the dreaded mall.
If you are getting your child ready to head back to school – or you are headed back to college – the transition from long, lazy summer days to hectic class schedules and homework can be a difficult one. Try to make it easier by changing your routine now, before the first day. Start by sending your child to bed earlier and waking them up earlier. Talk about the upcoming school year and try to get them excited about their new teachers and new grade. If there’s any anxiety, address it now.
Starting a new school is especially difficult. If you’ve moved recently or your child is transitioning into middle or high school, try to attend the orientation or open house. Walk around the school, pointing out different areas until your child feels familiar with his or her new surroundings. When my son started middle school last year, we took his schedule to school and walked his daily routine until he was familiar with it. But, to my surprise, getting lost wasn’t what made him nervous – the idea of trying to open a locker did. I bought him a padlock two weeks before school started so he could practice opening it.
Whether you are a parent sending a child to school, a student returning to a university or a single person battling the suddenly heavy traffic every morning, back-to-school time brings changes – many unexpected – to what has been a long and quiet summer. As much as I hate to see the endless days of summer, well, end, it is a great time of new beginnings and fun activities.