Quick Tips for Using Summertime to Prepare for the Next School Year

Quick Tips Somewhere between finishing up your child’s summer homework packet and buying school supplies, don’t forget to add one more thing to your summer to-do list preparing your child for the next school year.  Here’s how to leverage a few minutes of summer downtime to prevent back-to-school anxiety and get your child off to a fast start when the new school year arrives this fall.

1. Ask your child’s school principal or guidance counselor if you can borrow the textbooks and lesson plans that will be used in the fall. You can introduce the books over the summer, even if you only flip through the pages with your child and point out pictures of all of the exciting things to be learned in the next grade. Familiarity with the new books, and the type of content within them, makes one less thing for your child to get used to at the start of the new school year.

2. Complete a few lessons or read  a couple of storybooks from the next year’s curriculum to provide a fast start for the fall.  We try this with our son often, particularly in the area of his strength, which happens to be social studies. Pre-learning keeps him challenged over the summer, and confident in the fall, even if he happens to have a hard time with some of his other subjects. 

3. Take pictures of the new classroom and his new teachers.  Have your child meet his teacher during new student orientation, even if he has been going to the same school for years.  I also try to have an email exchange with our son’s teacher(s) during summer break, just to introduce myself and exchange some  information about my son.  Most of the time, the teachers have already been briefed about my son’s learning style and his needs, but I like to check in to see if the teacher has any further questions. To their credit, they usually do!

4. If your child will be attending a new school, create a videotaped tour of the new school, including the administrative offices, the office staff, the guidance counselor, the principal, the gym, the hallways, the playground and the classrooms. Follow it up with an on-site building tour while the school is really quiet. That way, he’ll be comfortable getting around the building, and will be familiar with many of the names and places he will see most often.

Most importantly,  simply think about what might cause your child to feel anxious  and then chip away at the unfamiliar things your child will encounter so that he or she can hit the ground running in the fall.

SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Quick Tips for Using Summertime to Prepare for the Next School Year”, url: “http://autismisnottheboss.com/2009/06/using-summertime-to-prepare-for-the-next-school-year/” });

—————
What tips you could add to this list?

autismisnottheboss on Twitter
L. Mae Wilkinson
Quiet advocate, volunteer parent mentor. Semi-retired corporate marketing and management consultant.
L. Mae Wilkinson

autismisnottheboss

Quiet advocate, volunteer parent mentor. Semi-retired corporate marketing and management consultant.

0 thoughts on “Quick Tips for Using Summertime to Prepare for the Next School Year

  • July 10, 2009 at 7:12 am
    Permalink

    Great ideas…

    I think it boils down to maintaining consistency over the months where schools out.

    Reply
  • July 10, 2009 at 5:57 am
    Permalink

    These are wonderful ideas. It is all about preparation and predictabilty with any new situation, to some extent for all of us, but certainly for someone with autism. Think of how many people benefit from your child being prepared for school! It takes some time but it is soooooooooo worth it!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.