It’s hard to believe that back-to-school season is already here. It feels like the kids just got out of school and summer started, yet here we are buying new school clothes and gathering school supplies. The kids and I are equally as excited for school to start. They missed their friends dearly and I miss the 8 hours of quiet!Not everyone is looking forward to back-to-school though. The beginning of a new school year can be an especially challenging time for families with children who struggle with reading and writing, math, organization and focus. Did you know that one in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia? Children with these types of challenges – many of whom have never been formally diagnosed – can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers and schools.
The Ad Council and Understood.org have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. Understood.org is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. Tips include:
- Plan Early: Create structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars and other organization systems. This helps prepare kids for class expectations. My kids loved the Backpack Checklist. During the first few weeks of school they are always forgetting things.
- School Tour: Taking your child on a school tour helps ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school. This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.
- Connect With Their Teacher: Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year. This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students. You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.
- Get Support: Many parents and students are going through the same experience. org and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.
No matter your child’s age or needs, make this Back-to-School season a seamless transition and positive experience! If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, Understood.org is a great place to start.