My oldest has started preschool. It's odd timing, I know, but it gives me a little break two days per week. I also wanted him to start developing school habits as he prepares to enter elementary school in a year.
He wasn't thrilled with the idea initially, but there are a few things he absolutely loves about the experience.
My sweet 4-year-old has always been a creature of habit. Most kids are, I believe, so it makes sense that an easy transition into school would rely on building school habits. Certain schedule patterns can be developed early, along with basic social skills like hand-raising, saying excuse me and forming a line.
7 School Habits We're Establishing Young
1. Waking up to an alarm. If your child is a grumpy waker, morning routines can be rough. Take advantage of summertime to get them used to one of the most important school habits that will start each day.
2. Reading. Kids read daily from kindergarten through graduation. This is one of the critical school habits that you can actually begin at or before infancy, reading to them each night or at a designated quiet time.
3. Packing lunch. Some Boy enjoys the excitement of opening his lunch box each day to see what surprise is waiting for him. I'm trying to develop this constant into one of the school habits he can look forward to for years to come. Here I packed an “under the sea” themed bento with a dolphin cutout sandwich, “sea anemone” green beans and bacon, a hard-boiled egg decorated with food coloring pens, a sailboat made of a peach slice and cheese wedge, and Plentils‘ lentil-based chips for waves.
4. Saving for college. As long as you're thinking long-term with the kids, start preparing for their future by setting up a college savings account for them. We've partnered with ScholarShare, and we use their 529 plans to prepare for all three of our boys' future schooling. Set up automatic deductions from your bank account, and you won't have to think twice about the financial aspect of their education.
5. Go to bed on time. My boys go to bed between 7 and 8pm every evening, school night or not. Much like alarm-setting, this is one of those school habits that will prevent future battles.
6. Keep a journal. Your kids can write their name, a list, or even a few practice letters. Just make sure that they have pencil and paper and that they use it every day. This is another core skill that they will need to exercise throughout their school careers.
7. Get organized. Have a designated spot for school supplies including backpacks and forms. Organization is one of the school habits that your children will need to rely on in every single class they take – and it will make each day go a lot more smoothly!
8. Work in a group. Unless your child has a designated one-on-one teacher (unlikely), they will be required to dialogue with peers and take turns. Arrange play dates to get them used to being around other people their own age.
He probably won't admit to it to you all, but Some Boy has actually come to love his days in preschool. As for me, I enjoy that we're ALL developing school habits to carry the family through elementary, middle, high school and on into college.
Do you have any tips for helping kids develop school habits?