If there is one thing that I learned this past week it is, summer is almost over! Where did the time go? As I made my way home on this Friday afternoon, I found myself in one of our local markets wandering down the busy narrow aisles, trying to remember why I had stopped in the first place. Aside from the typical “tgif” excitement that filled the air; I also felt a sense of “new beginnings” or a “clean slate” . It was not long that I observed two little girls contemplating which box of crayons would be better a fit for the upcoming school year.
There is something magical about the start of a new school year. I remember the simple beauty of going school supply shopping, trying on immaculate (mandatory) saddle shoes, and the anticipation of finding out who was going to be my new teacher for the next ten months. The start of a new school year can be a great opportunity for parents and teachers to help children develop a love and excitement for learning. There are various ways we can help children adapt well to the new school year and give them the necessary means to thrive.
Children need routine. Routine will help establish stability in everyday life, even when times are hectic. Establish routines for time of the day that can become overwhelming; morning time routines and nighttime routines will help children gain a sense of order and security while also ensuring they are receiving proper nutrition,an adequate amount of sleep (which is crucial for cognitive and physical development) and seeing that basic personal hygiene needs are being met. Communicate with children. Establishing communication with children is also very important. When relationships, of any type, possess a positive, dynamic, and respectful means of communication a basic trust is met. When children develop a basic trust in the world around them, they are more likely to gain skills that will help them through life such– as confidence, determination, and independence. Provide children with experiences. Many people are under the assumption that children are not capable of very much because they have only been on this earth for small amount of time. Studies have actually determined that from birth to three years old children are constantly absorbing and learning new information hence, that is exactly why we should be exposing children to multiple languages. Language acquisition is a natural process to young children, almost effortless. However, after a certain period of time, becoming fluent in other languages will become more complex for any human being, due to the way in which our brain develops. Allow children to experience natural consequences. If we are constantly stepping in and interfering with what is happening around children, they will not acquire a sense of independence or consequence and let’s face it, that will not help our children reach their fullest potential.
With all of that being said, as we approach the start of the 2013-2014 school year, i hope we all can try our hardest to provide the children in our lives with the necessary means to have a positive educational experience. Make it a point to stay connected with the children in your life–get involved with extracurricular activities, form partnerships with their teachers and above all, power off your cell phone, turn off the television and give your children your undivided attention; it speaks to great volumes.