Updated: Aug 4
Anyone who has ever spent anytime with children understands the importance of transition time. Having a child on the spectrum it is even more important to give a heads up when one activity is ending and another is about to begin. Giving kids a heads up allows them to better prepare for the adjustment they are about to have.
We usually have lazy summers full of sleeping in, playing games and just trying not to have a schedule. After having a strict schedule during the school year between school, extracurriculars and therapies were we are always on the go. It is nice to sit back and just relax.
We don't end summer early there is still plenty of swimming, smores and catching fireflies, but I know for my sanity we have to slowly start incorporating school a little bit at a time. This slow deliberate transition helps to make this change an easier adjustment . Cold turkey doesn't work for most kids.
1. Start With The Morning Rituals
The morning routine is our favorite part of our day during the school year. We relax have breakfast while we listen to music as we let our brains wake up and prepare for the day. We like to do a read aloud book with various topics and themes and discuss our thoughts, feelings and ideas about the stories we read. Here are some other ideas on things you can do to start a morning routine.
listen to a podcast
puzzles or learning games
practice skills in reading, writing and math
geography World or US traveler use the time to learn about a specific area each week
movies based on books compare and contrast book vs movie
Keep in mind that this part of your transition period so it doesn't need to last all morning. It is just making the habit of getting up and starting to work.
2. Break Out Those Books
If you are like me you may be guilty of letting reading slide a bit over the summer and a bit more screen time on the video games. Depending on age and book level kids can begin reading a book a every day, week or few days and getting used to structure again. They only need to read about 25 minutes a day. Ideas of fun places to read.
Outside under a tree or in a hammock
Build a fort in which to read
Create a cozy book corner
Go to the library
In the car
Part of bedtime ritual
If your kids are to young to read independently have a family read aloud time. Even the older kids can benefit from read aloud time. Mix it up, have fun and just take it slow. This is just another step easing into the school day transition.
3. Game Time Equals Learning Time
Games and building sets can be wonderful tools to get kids to learn and have fun while doing it. Making the transition fun means less push back from them and less stress for you. We use games everyday in our homeschool day as either part of the curriculum or quick brain breaks. Here are some of our favorite games and building sets.
Whether you use cards to practice math or play simple games of hangman there are ways to incorporate all types of skills through play. Playing these games that they know we use a lot in our homeschool is another step along the rode as we make this transition. Adding this before or after reading time gets kids used to spending larger chunks of time in a learning setting.
4. Bump Up Those Bedtimes
Longer summer days and even longer nights mean bedtimes are often ignored over the summer in exchange for more family fun time together. When we homeschool we often sleep in a bit but mornings go smoother when they get adequate rest. Turning of the TVs and screens an hour before bed time starts to get them into their bedtime routine.
I usually start this about a month ahead of time by slowing moving up bed time just a few minutes each night. That way by the time we get to the night before school we are going to bed at a good time and I get happy rested kids in the morning. To me this is the most important transition for summer to school and will save you the most headaches.
5. Hype Up The New School Year
During the summer we love living in the moment. Our school year schedule is quite hectic. The joys of a competition dance mom mean we are always on the go. So summer is our time to unwind and let the day take us where it may. So to get ready for fall we have to start to think about the future and the exciting things we have to look forward to. Here are some things that help us get excited.
Planning the field trips
Our new curriculum arriving
Picking out some new school supplies. They love getting to pick their favorite themed folders or notebooks that aren't just plain red, yellow, blue and green.
Making lists of things we want to learn about this year in science and history their favorite subjects.
Ordering new books for our read aloud library
Donating books we've outgrown or have read a lot to lending libraries or younger kids in our neighborhood
Discovering new learning games to add to our collection
Depending on how you homeschool you may have different ways you like to get your kids pumped up for the new year. Anticipation of the next activity is one really great way to smooth the transition from a desired activity to the next.
I'm gonna be honest the end of summer is always bittersweet. Those carefree summer hours where kids get to just be kids without worry or stress. Kids grow so fast that you blink and all the sudden they are almost in high school. We love that we get these times every summer while still looking forward to that next transition. Transitions can be hard on everyone give yourself and your kids plenty of time to adjust before moving on to the next season in y'alls lives.
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