While many kids anticipate going back to school and seeing their friends again, it can also be an overwhelming and unpleasant prospect. Most kids need a little back to school encouragement. Without it they can feel like they are facing the challenges of going back to school, meeting new people, learning new material, getting noticed, and fitting in all on their own. So, if you want to encourage them, here are a few fun ideas:
Have some fun after school activities planned for the first week. This may seem counter-productive, to get them excited for things that happen when school is out, but it can help reduce the jitters, and help them not feel like they are giving up all the fun of summer to simply put their nose to the grind stone. So, make the first week of school extra special for them by creating some plans that will really be memorable for them. Of course, make sure they have completed their homework, and have the right attitude about school, as prerequisites for being able to participate. They will not feel like school is such a drag if they have something fun to look forward to.
Leave fun notes. Sometimes kids need encouragement in the oldest form in the book, a note or two. A great way to help encourage your child when it comes to back to school is just put little sticky notes of encouragement in their books, backpacks, lunches, etc. When they sit down to eat their PB&J, and find a little hand written note reminding them you love them and that they are going to do great at school, written on their napkin, it will brighten their day. If they are too old for napkin lunchbox notes, try a sticky note on their steering wheel, or a note with a couple bucks tucked inside their pant pocket, etc. Help them feel like you are there and supportive by telling them.
Get them some surprises to give them a little excitement for school. When a kid is feeling down about school, sometimes a little surprise can really change the mood for them. Make an effort to make the first week of school full of surprises. You could leave a little thing in their backpack, a special snack in their lunch, or maybe a little something in their car, with the bus driver, etc. The idea is to make sure they know that things are not going to change and that they will be fine because they have people who care about them that will be there if they need extra homework help, or someone to complain to about friends and so on.
If you can do your best to encourage your kids, and make them feel excited about school, and confident about their abilities to achieve their academic potential, and do well. The more you can encourage them, the better they will do.