What does it take to get your children ready for the school year?

E.C. Montessori School

[Editor's note: Terri Powell one of our latest local columnists. Terri is director of E.C. Montessori School on Lady's Island.]

Back to school is in the air and we all are being bombarded with
back-to-school sales in magazines, newspapers, television ads and store

But perhaps getting your child school-ready involves more than heading to the mall. It just might be that the best getting-ready-for-school strategies you can employ are not found at your local department store.

Here are a few suggestions for getting your children "school-ready."

1. Start the school schedule early. Break the summer sleep-in/stay-up-late mode. Begin the morning and evening school routine at least two weeks before school actually starts. Don't expect that your child will be able to make the adjustment to getting up for school quickly or easily without a break-in period. Take the full two weeks to work into the routine slowly by adjusting
the bedtime and wakeup time a few minutes every day until the desired time is reached. Your goal is to have the schedule set prior to the first day of

2. Create a positive attitude about going back to school. Talk to your children about being able to see their friends again, see their teachers, and all the opportunities that being at school provides. Focus on your
child's area of interest and emphasize the ways in which school helps make it possible for he or she to pursue it. 

3. Set goals for the upcoming school year. Help your children create realistic expectations for themselves about school. Talk about what they want to accomplish this school year, not what you want them to accomplish.

Making new friends, focusing in class and staying organized are all crucial skills for a successful school year.

4. Model learning: Create a time in your home when everyone is involved in learning-related activities such as reading, playing games with numbers,
journaling, or quiet reflection.

Give your kids every opportunity to be ready for school this year. By doing so you will give your kids what they really need to begin this school year: structure, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude.