Ready or not, it’s back-to-school time. Summer fun is almost over and families are making the transition back into the school year routine. Nanny employers have some extra help making the school year transitions. Nannies can support both parents and children as they get ready to head into fall.
Streamline and practice the morning routine. Getting kids up, ready and out the door on time is one of the biggest challenges of the school week. Your nanny can create a routine that supports your child’s individual temperament and pace. Plus create fun prompts, like visual cues and get-you-going songs to help him stay on track. Instead of being a chaotic and stressful time nannies can help make mornings stress free. Your nanny can gradually ease your child into the morning schedule and introduce new tasks at a comfortable pace. By the first day of school, your child will move through the morning like a pro.
Practice social skills. Often the most challenging part of starting or returning to school isn’t the class schedule or the homework, it’s navigating the social scene. For a younger child, it may be learning how to introduce herself to new classmates or asking to play with a group of kids at lunchtime. For an older child, it may be learning how to start a conversation with a lab partner or asking a new friend if she wants to sit together at lunch. Your nanny can work with you to help your child talk through her feelings about going to school and help her role play some situations she’s worried or unsure about. Your nanny can also be a supportive ear when your child returns home in the afternoon.
Brush up on academic skills. Even children who do some academic work during the summer lose some academic ability and knowledge while out of school. Your nanny can offset summer brain drain by engaging your child in activities that challenge their reading, math, science and critical thinking skills. Your nanny can come up with fun ways to reintroduce important concepts and give your child the chance to dust off and practice the skills he hasn’t used in a few months. This will help your child quickly catch up once he’s back in the classroom.
Build friendships before the first day of school. If your child is new to the school or doesn’t know many of the children in his new class, the new school year can be daunting. Children gravitate to others they already know so new and shy children are often left struggling to connect and make friends. Your nanny can help your child form solid friendships before the school year begins. Hosting a play date or meeting a new classmate at the local park for the afternoon will give your child the opportunity to make friends in a relaxed, one-on-one situation. So when he walks in on the first day of school, he already has friends waiting for him.
Teach effective study skills. Many students will come home the very first day with homework. By the end of the first week, even kindergarteners will have homework. Establishing good habits from the beginning is key to your child’s success. Your nanny can work with your child to create a quiet, comfortable place to do his homework. She can experiment with different schedules to see what time your child is best able to concentrate and do his best work. She can offer support and guidance while challenging him to do his own work and correct his own mistakes. She can teach him how to break large projects into smaller, more manageable pieces and help him work through each piece in a logical way. Because she knows your child so well, she can find creative solutions to his particular struggles. All of these things will help your child develop effective study skills that will serve him for years to come.
Keep you connected to what’s happening at school. Your nanny can be a huge help to you during the school year too. She can sort and organize all the paperwork that’s sent home in the backpack to make sure you know all that’s going on and nothing falls between the cracks (or gets stuck at the bottom of the backpack!). She can fill out the endless order forms and permission slips so you can quickly review and sign them. That gives you a lot more time each evening to spend with your family.
Back-to-school time is really exciting. It can also be really stressful. If you’re lucky enough to have a great nanny working for your family, she can help ease your child into the transition and make starting school easier for everyone.