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Back-to-School Prep

The First Step for

Back-to-School Prep

In this blog series, we will be featuring a total of 2 steps to help your child be back-to-school ready in no time! Check back for a new step every Tuesday!

When the summer first began, it felt like we had an eternity to do all of the awesome "brain drain" activities on our list. Slowly, summer kicked into gear with camp activities, travel plans, beach trips, family BBQs, and fun in the sun. And now....quite suddenly.... the back-to-school commercials have found their way onto the TV screen. Not-so-subtle back-to-school reminders are in clothing stores, department stores, and even the local pharmacy! But we haven't finished the required reading list and there are still math packets to be completed!! Where did that "endless" summer go??

If this sounds familiar, you may find some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Also, there is still plenty of time left to prepare for school! Follow this simple step, and kids of any age will be back-to-school ready in a flash!

Break out the Books

Start reading with your children. Mix it up with books, iBooks, Shell Silverstein poems, or even articles from, ZooBooks, Ranger Rick, or Highlights. For those children who are still resistant, there are a few methods you may choose to test out.

1) Family reading time:

You may want to do this in the morning before the activities have stolen the day away, or in the evening as you’re all winding down. Take 30 or so minutes, grab a book, magazine, or newspaper, and institute a family reading session.

2) Joint reading:

The task of having to finish a book in a month can seem daunting. If so, you may want to try joint reading. Have your child read a page, then you read a page. You could also try reading 2 pages each. This way, your child will find he or she is sailing through a lengthy book more smoothly than expected. Once you’ve help to build a little more confidence, you can take it down to alternating after 1 page, or reading the book together silently, in your head. Just make sure to stop every so often to check in and pretend to be confused. This way, your child can explain the story back to you or tell you that he or she is confused as well.

3) Incentives, incentives, incentives:

The last method you could try probably equates to bribery. Oh well… With the promise of playing a $3.00 game from Rite Aid, I’ve seen an 8-year-old buckle down and do a reading passage and 5 comprehension questions that used to take 45 minutes, in just 20 minutes. And, while I try not to reward with food, sometimes a small treat just works. I’ve gotten a 4-year-old to do “boring” drills for 45-minutes once he knew that he would be receive a mystery-flavored Dum Dum at the end of the session.

You may want to create a sticker chart where stickers are accrued and turned in for a reward in return 30-45 minutes of reading per night. Or just offer a small incentive for each chapter or designated number of chapters completed. This can be magical.

Don't forget to check back next week for another great step for back-to-school Prep!

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