This post is from PCI Certified Parent Coach® Heba Fawzy, Cairo Egypt
Heba Fawzy is a seasoned educator having worked with students, teachers, and parents in varied experiences as a high school Science Teacher, as the Head of the Science Department, and as an Elementary School Headmistress. Heba believes parents are the engineers who design and build their own unique parenting structure. And she helps them do just that through her parent coaching practice, Parenting With Flavor. Contact Heba for more information: email@example.com.
Getting ready for a new school year brings different concerns. Some parents are worried about their children studying, waking up early and getting the day back on track for school, while some others are excited because they prefer the more organized routine of the school days.
But it is of no doubt that most of our children are complaining about going back to school!
Every parent wishes to prepare her life and her children’s life for the school year in a different new way that encourages and motivates the children to go back to school.
In this blog, I have gathered for you some ideas that really worked well for many families I have worked with. These simple, easy and fun steps are suitable for all ages and can be modified to suit your children.
- Create a cheerful home environment:
Some of us may unintentionally comment negatively about school saying things like “Ohh! School is back too soon, back to fights over studying!” or
“Wow, school is here already, we didn’t have a chance to rest”. Those comments create a negative feeling on the child’s side towards school, they feel bored very soon. What if we replace them with more positive ones like:
“School will be back soon and you will see all of your old friends again.”
“School will be back soon, I so much miss all your stories after you come back from school.”
Think of all the nice things that you can say to your children to motivate them and remind them of what they used to like about school.
- Enjoy shopping together.
Buying new outfits for school and getting all the supplies ready need not be burden for your family. Children and teens carry the responsibility of holding the supplies list, choose with us and enjoy the process. And for the clothes you set the budget together and they share in choosing based on the price and so on.
- Consider back to school decorations.
We usually decorate the house before Christmas and New Year. What about enjoying with our children decorating their room to celebrate going back to school? So many children love art and are very talented in this area. They can decorate their rooms with banners that say “Back to School” or “I love my school because ….”, or paint a drawing that represents what they wish to do in the new academic year,…etc. Allow them to create!
- Hold a back to school family gathering.
Usually setting rules for school days is the hardest part of the process especially after all the freedom and free-of rules summer days. Let’s try together a new and different way to do it:
Invite all the family members for an unofficial family gathering where you discuss all issues related to school. Always remember to listen to the children first before commenting. You can discuss the following points:
- Setting a goal/goals for the new school year
Asking “What would you like to achieve this year in school?” would be a good way to start the conversation. The goal can be general progress in grades, or progress in a certain subject, or about the pros and cons of joining a sports team, or the debate club, etc. The most important issue is for the child to choose his own goal according to his interests. Our role is to give support as long as it doesn’t interfere with academic progress.
- Agree on the daily routines and rules
Decide together the time allocated for studying, sports, technology, TV and mobile use. Usually you will face lots of negotiations during this part of the conversation, but it is worth it (prevention is better than cure). It is important to agree on these issues early enough. As I mentioned before, listen to them first and then reach an agreement together on what is considered acceptable for you. For example: No mobile before all studying is done with, may be only half an hour of mobile daily especially if there is computer usage during studying. Video or app games are only allowed during the weekend and so on.
- Set a plan for weekend fun
Planning ahead is not for rules only, it can be done for family fun, too. Set time for friends’ outing and time to be spent with the family.
- Discuss communicating with teachers and friends
This is an important issue we don’t want to miss. We can do it in the form of questions and discussions:
“How do you think you can help the novice students get used to the school during the first week?”
“Do you imagine the effort exerted by teachers before and during school days to get ready for each lesson?”
“What behaviors do we owe those teachers?”
“Is there a certain behavior that you don’t want to see amongst your friends? What is it? How do you see your role changing that?
Definitely, YOU as a creative parent can think of your own ideas to fulfil the purpose of filling your home with purpose, intention and family fun during these days, as you and your child prepare for a successful new school year. You can create unforgettable times and memories for your family with your own flavor. Share ideas with your children, enjoy your children—enjoy each moment with them.