“Back-to-School” season is one of my most favorite times of the year. Stores are lined with rows upon rows of school supplies—new notebooks, fresh pencils, perfect crayons! Ah, my teacher-heart could burst! And while going back to school might be both a celebration and lamentation for some parents, more often than not, the kids are roaring to get back with their friends and learn something new (even if they won’t admit it).
However, come October and early November, the spark and joy for being at school sometimes tends to wane. Maybe your child’s teacher isn’t all they (or you) hoped she/he would be. Maybe your child’s friendships changed. Maybe your child just feels bogged down with their new responsibilities with projects and homework. Whatever it may be, parents can help keep their children engaged and excited about school and learning.
Here are three easy ideas to keep the back-to-school buzz alive:
1. Help your child write encouraging notes/”thank you” notes to your child’s favorite teachers.
Whether it’s the principal or the recess monitor, your child probably has at least one adult at school that they care about and admire. Encourage your child to write that teacher a note expressing gratitude for the job they do at school each day. Not only will it uplift the teacher, your child will learn about the joy of giving and it may ignite a flame to encourage others throughout the school.
2. Make homework fun!
Just because a teacher sends home a worksheet does not mean the homework must be done sitting at the kitchen table wishfully thinking about being anywhere other than inside…doing a worksheet…after doing worksheets all day. That’s no fun and it’s a lot easier to keep our kids engaged in learning when they’re having fun! Here’s an example of a way to make homework into a game: if you child is young and learning sight words, hang up sight words around the house and give your child a nerf-gun (or something to that effect). Go on a hunt for words—each word they can read, they get to shoot!
3. Do things with your child that are unrelated to school.
It’s easy to get “burned out” with school (even as a teacher or parent), so it’s a great idea to take time to be with your child and do things with your child that are not school-related…yes, that includes school sports! Going on a weekend adventure to a place like the Endangered Ark Elephant Rescue in Hugo or spending a family date down in Bricktown might just inspire your child to write a masterpiece during the next school week.
What things work for your family as you try to keep that back-to-school buzz alive?