Gearing up for the new school year!

It’s that time again!  Back-to-School season is officially here!  Whether you’ve just begun prepping for the new school year, or your kids have already started – this can be an exciting but hectic time for both parents and kids.  For our family, we love back to school time. We go slow to get ready, building up new rhythms and finding what works for each child. With 5 kids, each learning in different ways this can be challenging. Our oldest has her last year of high school in an online private school. Our son is testing out new curriculum and interests. Our 9 year old daughter is trying to find her motivation. Nothing seems to contain the excitement of our 7 year old. If course our toddler is not going to school but as she some special needs as she is a late talker, we need to spend some extra time and effort each day helping her grow her communication skills. We will all be doing sign language with her, trying to re-learn it ourselves at the same time. It is going to be an adventure this year to say the least. Isn’t this true for all of us though? 

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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. Understood.org is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.

 

As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. One of the commonalities for most of my children is that they need time management skills and I am glad that the First-Day Ready Guide understands this struggle so well and gives grade level appropriate suggestions and support specially for them! I am looking forward to the live chat on August 31 with experts sharing information and answering questions about how to help kids keep up. My oldest child has a lot going on this year and one thing is for sure true about doing online school, it seems easier to get behind! She will need all the support we can give her while she finishes her primary education while also being out exploring the world and finding herself. We move in just a few months and so while her online school will stay the same, so many other things will change however. Being a young adult in a military family is challenging at the best of times! All of us struggle though and I think what is fantastic is that there is support out there to make the best of it. 

 

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Check out these back-to-school tips from the Understood.org website.  They helped my family; hopefully they can help yours too.

 

  • Planning early is important to help relieve stress.  Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. (Mention which tool you found especially helpful and why, e.g.: Back-to-School Countdown Planner, Backpack Checklist, and sample Homework Contract.)

 

You can also take your child on a school tour to help 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.  

 

  • 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.

 

  • Finally, get support!  Many parents and students are going through the same experience. Understood.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.

 

So, 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.  

All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.

 

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