New Beginnings: Back to School & the Jewish New Year

Wow, what a whirlwind of a summer! Can you believe that September is upon us already and the carefree and relaxing days of summer will soon be a distant memory? Don’t fret though; September is a fabulous month for so many reasons because to many of us it represents new beginnings! For schoolchildren, it means that they get to start a new grade with a new teacher and maybe even a new group of friends! For those of us in the Jewish community, September is the month that we celebrate Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah – which brings with it the opportunity for a new beginning. You see, September is a fresh and exciting month!

As parents, we all know how hard it can be to get back into the fall routine. To celebrate the beginning of a new school year, here are some handy tips to help ease you and your children back into the school groove.

 

Re-stablish Mealtime and Bedtime Routines

During the summer, dinnertime may be more flexible due to the longer hours of daylight and the decreased need for structure. Bedtime might also be a bit later since there are no “school nights.” Preparing your children (and prepping a bit before the school year commences) is a very smart plan. If you ease your children back into the routine of eating dinner at a normal school day hour and going to bed at a reasonable time, they will have a much easier adjustment. Explain the importance of a good meal and a good night’s sleep so that they do not end up overtired or overwhelmed with their school work. Agreeing on a weekday and weekend time to get up and go to bed is a great way to keep kids on a regular schedule.
 

Activate Their Minds

Summer represents fun times for our kids with lots of playtime and outdoor activities. The discipline of school can be a shock to a child’s system if they haven’t prepared. Before homework piles up, encourage your children to read a book so that they can be eased back into “quiet” time. It will also be a great refresher of their reading skills. You can also limit their TV or tablet time and promote mind-stimulating activities such as doing a puzzle or colouring.
 

Visit the School

If you have a child that is starting at a new school, there is nothing better than familiarizing them with their new surroundings. Visiting the school before the school year commences, meeting the teacher and planning a route to walk or where to catch the bus can provide immense comfort and calm those pre-school nerves.
 

Organize Your Mornings

Starting a day off in a state of rushed frenzy is stressful for the entire family and can make your children anxious or provoke a tantrum before they even leave the house! Of course, it’s not possible to be as cool as a cucumber at all times (life happens!), but packing lunches, laying out clothes and putting school bags by the door the night before can make the early morning routine much easier.
 

Update Vaccinations

Some schools may require your children to have up-to-date vaccinations for a variety of preventable childhood diseases like chicken pox, whooping cough, mumps and measles. So head to your pediatrician’s office and make sure that your children are properly protected. We all know that sickness can easily spread where there are many people in close quarters, and schools are one such place. Plan ahead before the school year starts so you can tick one more thing off your to-do list.

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