Helpful Tips For a Smooth Back to School Transition by Dr. Ami Eskanos, Dean of Admission

Dr. Ami Eskanos, Dean of Admission

Welcome back to school! It is always fun to start school and then have a little break with a long weekend to catch your breath. Maybe not so fun was waiting for a storm to pass us by. Thankfully the storm was a non-event and we are back to the business of being in school.

Returning to school can be exciting and sometimes a bit overwhelming. This can be especially true for our many new students on campus (make sure to welcome them). Setting up a solid routine at home can make the transition back to school smoother and easier. Here are some helpful hints:

  • Set up an after-school routine that is consistent from day to day. Some students need a snack and a break before starting homework, others will do better to conquer homework immediately after school and then have dinner, a bath, and then downtime. Whichever works best for your child is fine, but stick to it.
  • Create a comfortable and welcoming area to do homework. This might be a quiet desk or the kitchen table. Again, make it the same location each day to create a work habit.
  • What if your child gets distracted or overwhelmed during homework time? Try looking at the task together and determine how much time it should take to complete. If it is a ten-minute worksheet for example, set a ten-minute timer nearby. After ten minutes allow a quick break to shoot a few hoops or have a small snack. Return to complete the next homework assignment in kind.
  • To make the morning rush easier, before bed, have your child select and lay out their outfit for the next day.  Make sure all items are gathered together including shoes and socks. Parents do the same for yourselves. Similarly, make sure backpacks, and parent handbags, are loaded up and set next to the door to make leaving in the morning less hectic.
  • Maybe preparing breakfasts and lunches slows you down in the morning. Try meal prepping on Sunday so breakfast and lunch is ready to grab and go.  I know a family of five whose mother premade sandwiches for the week and placed them in the freezer. She also prepacked bags of carrots and hummus and stored those in the fridge. Each morning she just had to pack the bags without the rush of preparing individual sandwiches and snack bags.
  • Stay calm. Rushing around in the morning is stressful for you, and also for your children. The calmer and more organized you are, the easier it will be for your children to get out the door and into school every day.
  • Plan for downtime. As important as school and homework is, having quiet time with your family provides a necessary break to refocus. Try to plan a small outing during the week such as a walk to a nearby park, a game of catch, or a trip to the ice cream shop.  Whatever it is, disconnect the phone, and talk to one another about the day and your hopes for tomorrow. Set some goals and plan how to attain those goals.  Next week, check in to see if those goals have been reached, and set some new goals.

I hope this school year brings you happiness and growth. We are excited you are a Hebrew Academy Warrior!

Shabbat shalom,

Dr. Ami Eskanos
Dean of Admission