Parents and guardians should portray schools as positive places where geniuses and wise folks are nurtured and created. Unintentionally, too many parents depict schools as places their children attend after their summer breaks, so they, as parents, will have some breathing space. That may be true, but that is not the message you want on your children’s mind as they return to school. Schools are not places you send your children to be disciplined, but places where they learn and grow into accomplished and responsible folks.
Buy books or games that have tutorial components
This is easily accomplished if your children are small, but if they are teenagers, you might want to take a slightly different approach. Rather than ask directly what games or books they might like, observe where their interests lie and engage them in conversation. Get their confidence by listening to them explain why they like a particular subject. When satisfied you will not buy something they will reject simply because you bought it. You will find educational games there that will make you a hit with both your younger and older children.
Describe schools in favorable terms
Since their creation, schools have been places to gain knowledge that is instructive and enriching and improve students’ intellectual curiosity and physical well being. From the days of being warmed by wood-burning heaters and walking for miles on tree-lined trails, many students have overcome all types of difficulties and hardships and have gone on to excel because they believed that with an education, they could be anything they desired.
As parents, you can continue these traditions by teaching your children who by going to school, obeying their teachers, and learning all, they can, they, too, can be anything they desire. View schools as magnificent places where all types of inventions and creative pursuits are being discovered and undertaken. Plan to have these discussions before the start of the new school year.
Make a list of school supplies and clothing
If you are like many parents, you may be having financial difficulties during these tough economic times and will probably not have the means to buy clothes and supplies as you have in times past. Why not allow your children to make two lists each, one that itemizes the essentials they will need for school supplies and one for their clothing. Set a maximum dollar amount for each set of lists. When they finish with their lists, have them prioritize up to three or four items so that they can get the things they need within their dollar range.
Do not be afraid to share with your children the state of finances in your home. You may be surprised how cooperative they will be when you tell them the truth, and by letting them know sharing and cooperating is what family is all about.
Plan a family day or a week of vacation before school starts
If times and finances permit, plan either a family day or a week’s vacation before school starts, preferably someplace where each of the children will have an opportunity to engage in an activity they like. If that is not doable, plan a family picnic. Be sure there are games and lots of food; the idea is to have fun. Let them know that function punctuates the end of summer and from that point, you expect them to devote all their energy, mentally and physically, to do and be the best they can be in school.
Returning to school after summer vacation can be an exciting time for students, but as their parents it is up to you to portray school as a positive place with many potentially positive experiences. Do not act as though you cannot wait until they are back in school because they are driving you loco. If they pick up on this mindset, it probably will not be in the best interest of their teachers, so elevate the discourse by praising their teachers. When school starts, attend all teachers and parents’ meetings to ensure your children do, in fact, have great teachers.
Discuss with your children your expectations for each of them; help them aim high in choosing his or her life’s goal; it’s never too early to have these discussions. Make returning to school an exciting adventure, it will be a win-win situation for all involved.