Back-to-School Buzz: Igniting Excitement in Kids for a Fresh Start
The back-to-school season is always chaotic, and while many children have experiences in common, others are like comparing our sun to a black hole. That said, there are ways to ignite that special buzz in any child, even kids who have struggled in school so far. Giving them a fresh start is possible no matter where they’re starting from.
Parents, teachers, and older siblings all know that kids are naturally curious, and encouraging this curiosity will encourage their love of learning and prepare them for asking clarifying questions in the classroom. Many parents find that their children ask questions they don’t know how to answer, and if this happens, it’s important to avoid dismissing them. Instead, admitting that you don’t know the answer can lead to both of you discovering something new as you search for answers together.
If your child is moving schools or only starting this year, the new environment can be stressful. Make it easier for them by brushing up on topics they may have struggled with the year before or settling their worries about making new friends. Oftentimes, the best way to get to know people is to start with a simple “hello!”, and it will put them at ease to know that friendships don’t have to be difficult.
It may be harder to ease their worries if making friends has been difficult already. If this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with waiting awhile and feeling things out. Encourage them to find other kids who have similar interests and get to know them through common traits. Remind them that having good friends is more important than having lots of friends, and show your understanding for how difficult friendships – both old and new – are sometimes. Community is everything and its helpful to have friends and interested adults for support throughout the year.
Who are they, really?
Hobbies will also play a role in how excited they get about school. And if you can link hobbies to learning it will engage and excite your child. If they’re a creative, visual thinker, rigid math formulas may bore or frustrate them, no matter how simple they seem to you. Remember, you’ve been through school before, but for them, it’s happening for the very first time. How could you reframe the questions in a way they’d understand? Maybe fractions could be rephrased as drops of water joining into a larger pool. Use visual aids, like coins or small dry food items, to help them understand. Get creative with it!
Anything else for a fresh start?
Finally, do they have all the supplies they need? When I was young, I loved going back-to-school shopping, even if I didn’t need anything new. There are so many stores that have supplies online, but for the full effect, going somewhere in person to pick out a new backpack, notebook, or set of highlighters will ignite their excitement so much more. Here are some other ideas to make back to school shopping fun, with a sneaky dose of learning.
Every child is different, and there is no one way to encourage their excitement. Considering who your child is as an individual and how school has gone for them so far will give them the best possible start, and this fresh start will reignite their curiosity and love for learning.
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