With a new school year quickly approaching, you may be stressing out over the preparation process. As a parent or student, it’s understandable that you’d want everything to run as smoothly as possible during the transition. Well, you can reduce the stress and worry less, because I’ve got you covered! Read on to find the top 10 ways to transition to the school year.
1. Create a Routine or Schedule
My first tip to help you transition into a new school year is to get into a routine that’s tailored to you. Sitting down and taking time to note what has or hasn’t worked in the past is very beneficial in creating a school schedule. You should also begin your new routine at least a week in advance; doing this will give you time to see if you need to make any alterations in your sleep or eating schedule. Jessica from Life as a Mom has wonderful tips that can help you during this process.
2. Get to Know Your Teacher(s)
This is something I truly find to be helpful during the transition process. If you are enrolled in a homeschool program like Bridgeway Academy, you’ll most likely have the same advisor from year to year. But in the case that you have a new advisor or are taking some live classes that have new teachers, talking to them beforehand is very valuable. You’ll want to get to know them, give them information about your learning style, and talk about any classes or school activities you’re interested in joining. This will help them find an academic program and a course schedule that is tailored to your needs.
3. Get Involved
Getting involved is a great way to create better relationships with your teacher(s) and other students. By joining activities and groups that foster your interest, you can connect with kids that have similar hobbies. This helps ease the stress of not knowing anyone, and you’ll be on the road to creating many healthy friendships right in the beginning!
In the case that you’re school doesn’t offer clubs or a particular activity you’d want to join, propose your idea to your school’s staff – they’ll most likely be interested in learning more and your club, group, or activity will soon be underway! Something I personally enjoyed at Bridgeway last year was participating in the Act for Compassion fundraising event hosted by Compassion International. I was able to learn a lot in the process and enjoyed working with my advisor, who sent out weekly emails regarding the activities. Other options for interaction include co-ops, church groups, and athletics! Take the time to build friendships and get involved in something you are passionate about.
4. Set Goals for Yourself
Whether you want to accomplish many things or just a few, writing down your goals for the upcoming school year can help you stay focused and positive. It may seem difficult to come up with ideas at first, so here’s a website with examples to get you started. Refering back to these goals throughout the school year and adding to the list can foster a sense of responsibility, confidence, and accomplishment.
5. Check in with Your Advisor or Teacher(s)
Scheduling routine check-ins with your academic advisor can help you build a better relationship with your teacher(s) and school staff. This also allows you to make certain you’re staying on top of your school work. Bridgeway offers quarterly check-ins from advisors and teachers to ensure everything’s running smoothly. If you need help figuring out an academic schedule that works for you, your advisor will be glad to help you with that as well!
6. Focus on the Positive
One tip I have for transitioning into the new school year is to stay positive. I know this may seem harder than it sounds, but putting forth the effort to see the positive side of things, rather than the negative, can ultimately help you stay confident and motivated from the beginning to the end of the school year. If you’re stressed out or anxious, the best thing to do is to stay as open-minded as possible. There will be bumps in the road, especially when you try something new, but staying positive helps you push through and get resolution. When you do struggle, make sure to let your parents, teachers, or advisors know because they may have great ideas for overcoming obstacles. At Bridgeway, you can always count on the wonderful staff to go the extra mile to resolve problems.
7. Get Organized
If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to start a healthy transition into the new school year, it would be to stay organized. There are many ways you can do this, such as dedicating a clean, neat space to studying, and staying on track academically with a calendar, agenda, or planner. I’ve tried out a variety of planners, and here are my favorites: Emily Ley Planners, Design Your Own Planner, Bailey Craft Planners, and Erin Condren Planners. I personally like to use a planner to write my assignments in and create checklists, but I also often utilize print-outs from the Internet (which help to save time and money). Two websites that offer a variety of free printable planners, schedules, and checklists are Pros and Cons of Homeschooling and The Organised Student.
8. Plan Fun Activities
Something very important to keep in mind during the school year is to plan activities around your school schedule. Of course, you don’t want to plan activities during the school day when you’re working or studying, but if you happen to finish your school work early, or even during weekends, planning something fun can motivate you, as well as allow you to learn something new! The reason this is essential during the transition to a new school year is you’re going from two or three months of summer break and vacation to learning every day – fun activities helps make the transition easier by giving you smaller breaks in between learning sessions. I’m sure you can agree that while learning is fun, it can also be tiring at times, so scheduling some free time to go on a field trip, or even just to go outside, enjoy nature, and get fresh air, can help you both in and out of the classroom. You can find some fun outdoor activities and a free downloadable resource here.
9. Communicate with Your Parent or Child
Whether you’re a parent whose child is homeschooling or you’re a student, open-communication is very important when transitioning successfully into the new school year. As a parent, you should check on your child’s progress and ask them how everything is going to ensure that their transition to the new academic year is as smooth as possible. Many times families just start the school year without ever looking back. But keep in mind that your first attempt might be a bit frustrating, so communicating together will help you make adjustments for a smoother, healthier year. If you do have any concerns about any classes, you should contact your advisor, teacher, or principal via email or phone call.
10. Prepare the Night Before
This tip doesn’t only apply to kids attending public or private schools – it also applies to students who homeschool. Preparing food, like lunch and snacks, and your class schedule the night before, is very beneficial to successfully getting into the routine of the new school year. It also allows you to focus on more important things in the morning, and you’ll thank yourself later in the day when everything is already prepared and set. It also helps you avoid the stress of taking time out of your school day to make your lunch or put together a snack, and you may even finish your courses for the day earlier than you expected.
These are just a few of the tips I’ve learned over the years that have helped me with the transition into a new school year. Try these out and observe how they work for you or your child. What helps you or your child maintain a smooth transition to the new academic school year? Let us know down below!