We’ve spent the last 4 weeks counting down to the start of the school year with academic activities for our visual learners. This last week of the countdown, we want to focus on preparation and organization to fill our visual learners’ need for order and visual clues as they get ready for school.
Get them involved. As you gear up for back to school, get your kids ready for the routine and schedule of being back to school by involving them in the preparation. Children learn by doing. They can help with the school supply shopping and labeling supplies once you’re home. The night before school, they should find and pack their lunch box, prepare their backpack, lay out their first day outfit, etc.
Establish a morning routine. Routines create predictability, which our visual kids have to have. They need to know what to expect and what’s expected of them, so they can focus on getting it done. Routines also allow kids to operate independently, a good life skill and it means lots less pressure on busy parents. Write it down. Keep it simple. Make it visual. Use color. List steps in logical order. And, post it at eye level close to the activity. To get your preschoolers started early, try this one.
Update their wardrobe. As you organize their clothes for the upcoming school year, have them help you review current shoes and clothes to see what fits and what might need to be replaced. These adorable drawer labels are a great tool for helping them get all of their school clothes in the right place and easy to find as they prepare for school.
Designate the landing zone. When the kids get home from their long day at school, having a specific place to hang their backpacks and place their shoes and jackets will make the transition easier. Make it accessible for everyone using it. That means making hooks for backpacks and coats at both a child level and an adult level and having a designated space for the shoes, boots, hats, gloves, etc. that need to have a place. We need to make it possible for our children to be able to take care of their own things and empower them to be successful with organizing.
Create a homework spot. Visual kids need to have a calm, quiet and organized space to do their schoolwork. A great way to start is to create a special space in your home and keep it consistent. The space needs to have everything that they need to be successful in completing their homework so they don’t get distracted trying to find the things they need. Some supplies to start with are pencils, pens, paper, ruler, calculator, highlighters, staples, etc.
Be prepared for them to be tired. Those first few days of school are an adjustment for any child. But, for our visual kids, they are downright exhausting! Our kids have spent close to 6 hours sitting in a classroom being bombarded by language, both in instruction and all over the walls. They are going to need some time to decompress when they get home. If there is time for a nap, great. If not, expect them to be more quiet than normal at dinner or need to go to bed early as they adjust to their new schedule.
Back to school is full of excitement, anticipation and anxiety so organization and visual cues are greatly needed for our visual kids. Doing these 6 simple things will work wonders in making it a smooth transition from summer to the classroom routine.
Tell us some of your favorite ways to get ready for being back to school in the comments below.