Q: A big part of starting a new year is transitioning from ‘summer mode’ to ‘school mode’. What are some effective ways to get in the right headspace to learn?
A: Summer vacations allow children to relax and distress from everyday school activities. It also means that many children have an open schedule filled with fun and adventures. For many, it is not easy to transition back to structure and routines and they need time to adjust. Two weeks before school starts, parents should start preparing children for morning routines that will continue during the school year. It also means going to sleep and waking up earlier. Setting up the alarm clock 10-15 min. earlier may help to adjust to the new schedule before school starts. It is important to keep children mentally active during the summer vacation. For instance, reading a book, exploring new concepts, playing Sudoku, crossword puzzles or assigning creative “homework” will help children to be more ready to learn. Another helpful thing parents can do in the final week of summer is to help their children set up a homework area – a quiet, well-lit space for study. Discussing goals and responsibilities with children for the upcoming school year will motivate them and help them get in the right headspace to learn.