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Keeping Elementary Kids Excited for the First Day

by Joe Lawrence | July 29th, 2015 | Elementary, School

back to school (400x400)Summer sands are slowly drifting away and we are hearing the faintness of school bells off in the distance. We are now past the midpoint of summer and the new school year is approaching. There are some things we can do to prepare our elementary school students for the coming year.

As our children get older, the excitement for school wears off with each new academic year. My daughter is about to start kindergarten and has talked about it every single day since we told her about it. However, I know this excitement will fade with each passing grade. Our fifth graders are probably not as excited, but we can still help prepare them in the following five ways.

1) Many schools already have or will be releasing the class listings. Get this list and talk about his fellow classmates. Have him talk; discuss those who he is excited about and those who he is not. Remind him of the person from fourth grade who he thought would not be fun and now he is friends with. Remove the fog of uncertainty and help prepare him mentally.

2) Allow for some individualism. This may be the time to allow them to experiment with their hairstyles and give a little leeway to your normal rules. Maybe even let them have some more say in the outfits they are getting.

3) Big ticket item. Let them get that expensive pair of shoes they have been wanting and save them for the first day of school. I remember how excited I was when I got my first pair of Nikes in junior high. It took some edge off of the anxiety of day one because I was excited to finally have a pair of shoes I had been wanting.

4) Have some learning fun. Ask them what they think they will learn about in the coming year. If it is history, take them to a local historical site and let them explore. Later learn something else about it together. This will give them that feeling that you will be there for them during the coming year.

5) Create a reward system. Parents are always pushing for better grades. Well, as any good manager knows that you reward the behavior you want repeated. Let them know the reward for getting an A or a B. Maybe it is a financial reward or an extra 30 minutes each week per A on their computer or iPad. Whatever motivates them, leverage that.

We as parents know what makes our children tick. Using these simple guidelines and some creativity, we can help to excite them for the coming year.

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