Back to school....already?
Some children have trouble transitioning back to school. Here are some suggestions that might help your school aged kiddo have a more successful year!
Help your child become more organized! If your school has an agenda book as an option, purchase it and help your child learn how to use it! Do not assume this is something they can do themselves! After all, you have probably been keeping your child's soccer schedule, play date list, and doctor's appointments, not them!
Help your child develop an organization system that works for them. Some suggestions include color coding, tab folders, binders with labels or matching stickers, a homework folder, a pouch for school tools (pencils, scissors, etc). What works for you or another child might not work for your kiddo, so help your child and have them work with you! If they are an active part of the process, they may be more willing to stick with the organizational strategy they chose!
Some schools offer on-line agendas of when tests and homework are due as well as on-line gradebooks of your child's progress. Don't be afraid to look up your child's progress and what homework and tests are coming up! This information will help you help your child!
Make sure your child has a backpack that fits them. Many small children are required to bring a large, standard sized backpack that will comfortably hold a large 3 ring binder. If this is the case, make sure your child is not bringing too much "extra stuff" to school. Stuffed animals, electronics, and games are for home, not school and your child shouldn't be carrying anything unnecessary with them to keep the weight of the backpack down. Teach your child to wear his/her backpack over both shoulders and use the chest strap if it comes with one. If your child has low muscle tone or poor endurance, ask the school if they are allowed to carry a rolling, suit case type backpack. Some schools allow them and some schools don't, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
If your child has difficulty with handwriting or holding their pencil, talk to your teacher about allowing a modification. Most teachers will allow pencil grips, tactile (raised line) paper and 3 lined paper. Some children might benefit from using other types of technology, like keyboarding, a tablet with a writing to text application, or a tablet with a speech to text application. Although many schools won't supply this technology, many will allow you to 'bring your own' to school. Try to get some sort of a system into place BEFORE your child becomes anxious or defiant about completing schoolwork and classwork!
If your child has special needs, has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), a 504 plan, or you feel he/she may need extra help in school, contact your teacher as soon as possible. The more your teacher knows of your concerns, the more he/she can help! Let your child's teacher in on any 'known struggles' like disorganization, difficulty listening or paying attention, difficulty sequencing information, difficult seeing the board or copying information from the board, difficulty with operating a computer, etc so your teacher can set the year up right!
If you have concerns about your child's ability to participate in age appropriate school activities, call Central Ohio Therapy Services at (740) 475-9666. We may be able to help with individual treatment or a consultation to provide you with suggestions to make this school year great!