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5 tips for a successful start to the school year

5 tips for a successful start to the school year

"Yippee, it's the holidays!" This is how summer holidays often start. They are accompanied by long hours of sleep and hearty breakfasts with toast and croissants, long-awaited stays with grandparents, trips to discover a new city or a new place, or even moments of relaxation at the sea or in the mountains. Then the days start to shorten and it's already time for the start of the school year... In this article, we give you 5 tips to make this moment a successful event that can be prepared with joy and in family!

Choosing the right school bag

Very often, schools give parents a list of school supplies that the children will need during the year, from a pencil to a textbook, and of course the wooden set square.

School supplies for a successful back to school year

At Petit Menhir, we believe that one of the most important item is the school bag, as it follows the child throughout the year. It must be big enough to hold the whole list of school supplies, and strong enough to face the many adventures of this new year. And crucially (according to our children!), it must follow the latest fashion trends or feature the latest character in vogue in the playground! Last but not least, since fun and play should not be neglected, don't forget to include a place for the child's favorite toy, such as a wooden construction set.

Adapting the child's rhythm before school starts

After several weeks without school, the child's habits regarding getting up and going to bed can be a bit upset (thanks to the grandparents!). Finding a suitable rhythm is not something that can be done overnight, and it is therefore advisable to plan ahead rather than wait until the last Sunday before school starts.

In our experience, at Petit Menhir we suggest adapting the child's rhythm at least one week before the start of the school year, by gradually bringing forward the bedtime and inviting the child to get up at the time he or she will have to get up when classes resume. This way, you can avoid a day that starts with a a bad mood!

A tip for calming children's minds before bedtime is to do a "cool down" by putting screens and other electronic games aside and playing a game of Petit Menhir, the wooden construction game that is a zen, intelligent and educational toy.

Children playing with Petit Menhir educational game

Actively involving children

There's nothing better to get our kids on board with the back-to-school concept than to get them actively involved!

Ask for their opinion when choosing supplies, for example for the color of the pencil case or the snack box, and take their opinion into account for the type of schoolbag (soft or hard?) as well as for the design of the bag. Within reason, of course, as the aim is not to blow your budget!

Also talk to your children about going back to school. Ask them how they imagine it will be, how they feel about it, and whether they are looking forward to seeing their teacher and classmates. Often, a discussion that actively involves the child can defuse fears or correct preconceptions!

Make the start of the school year a positive event

Often, the start of the school year is perceived negatively because it puts an end to a number of freedoms and privileges that children generally do not experience during the year. These include:

  • late nights and late mornings
  • the absence of daily homework
  • special time spent with grandparents
  • trips that took us to a magical place

However, the start of the school year is also an opportunity for our children to enjoy certain things and we think it is important to remind them of this. For example, your little one will soon be reunited with his or her favorite classmate, he or she will be able to look forward to a snack that you have lovingly prepared for him or her, he or she will resume his or her favorite activities (is he or she more of a football player or a potter?) or he or she will go on a trip with the whole class to discover an unknown place. After all, back to school is the beginning of a new adventure for your children and should be celebrated as such!

Little Girl playing with the Montessori wooden educational game

Set goals for the year

The best way to make the first day of school, and the year in general, a success is to set clear goals together with your child as well as the means to achieve them.

The first objective that comes to mind is obviously to pass the school year and move up to the next grade. The way to achieve this is to pay attention in class and to participate as much as possible, as well as to learn the lessons given by the teacher and to complete the exercises that he or she has given your children.

You can make a big contribution to your child's success by making enough time in your child's timetable to do homework, and by providing a comfortable and welcoming place for your child to do it. They will be more likely to work well at a warm desk rather than sitting on the floor in front of the TV!

Other objectives include:

Not being late for school

This can be achieved by scheduling a reasonable bedtime, getting a good night's sleep and setting a regular alarm clock.

Packing the night before

Take the time to discuss with your child the night before what they will need for the next day, and make a checklist with them shortly before bedtime. Don't forget to include a fun activity, such as the educational wooden game Petit Menhir, for your child to play with at break time!

Start/continue a physical or artistic activity

The benefits of a sporting or artistic activity for a child's healthy development and growth are indisputable. If it is not already part of your child's weekly programme, try to find out with them what kind of extra-curricular activity they might enjoy!

Eat a balanced diet

A healthy mind in a healthy body! This saying has never been more relevant, yet many school canteens still don't pay enough attention to what goes on our children's plates. So make sure you instil good habits in your children, starting by preparing healthy snacks and introducing them to a variety of good food.

Wooden Montessori blocks for open-ended play

We hope that these few tips will be useful to you and that the next school year will be a wonderful time that you and your child can enjoy together!

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