The year is finally looking predictable and scheduled. Your days are starting to resemble a routine, yet your child is having trouble getting used to their long day. Does this snippet sound like a page out of your book?
Gosh, who knew first grade could be so hard?! I’m sitting on the bus and even though Tali is trying to tell me about the funny signs outside I don’t want to look. I’m so tired and I know Mommy is going to have a lot of questions about school today, but I don’t want to say anything. I get off the bus and everyone is playing outside. I shrug my shoulders; Mommy seems a little hurt when I tell her I don’t want to talk right now.
An after-school snack of milk and cookies can sweeten your child’s homecoming yet how do you make sure you send them off empowered for a successful day?
We spoke to Speech and Occupational therapists at The Therapy Place to gather some simple + impactful ideas to help your child get through a typical day at school.
- Bedtime/ Breakfast Empowerment: Don’t underestimate your teacher’s instructions to ensure that your child receives the right amount of sleep, so they are well rested in the morning. A healthy, filling breakfast and snack will ensure your child remains energized throughout the day. Health and nutrition are the basic needs for every child.
- Routine Explanation: At School, kids can get restless without time telling skills, it can be hard for kids to understand how time passes throughout the day. Speak with your child about the daily schedule and routine and explain their role during each part of the day. You can encourage your child to look at a clock/ watch after each lesson so they will be impressed at how long they can sit and listen!
- Transition Easement: Creating a visual schedule is an option for kids that can’t read. Make a chart for them to put stickers in after specific intervals to track the day in an interactive way. If the teacher is on board, they may make a big visual of what students can expect each day. The teacher can also set a timer to ring at the end of a task letting your child know that this timer is saying “it’s time to put away X and take out Y!”.
- Bedtime Communication: Bedtime is usually the best time to hear about a child’s day. Children are winding down, and less stressed, therefore they tend to be more open to communicating. Start bedtime a few minutes early so you can have enough time to discuss the school day and how it went. Try to stay away from simple open-ended questions such as “Did you have reading groups today?”, response: “yes” and instead ask questions that lend to longer responses “how was today’s reading group different than yesterdays?”, response: “today we took turns reading, yesterday we read out loud together”.
- Skill Assessment: Check in with your child’s teachers to ensure that your child is up to class level academically and socially. If a child’s skill level isn’t up to par with their peers, they’ll feel discouraged which will decrease their confidence and performance. Sending them on a downward trending cycle of failure and disappointment. Occupational and Speech Therapy can help them discover their strengths and how to overcome the obstacles they cannot get through on their own.
May this year be filled with success, routine, health, and happiness for both parents and children! Please let us know if you have found these tips helpful and what other topics you’d like to hear about.
Happy School Days!
The Therapy Place is on a mission to empower every child to succeed in school whether the answer is therapy or simply parental education. Led by our founder Leah Gross OTR/L and Speech Director Alana Obuhovs MS, CC-SLP, we have been providing Occupational and Speech Therapy to over 50 schools throughout NJ for the past 10 years. The goal is to make things as easy as possible for parents by ensuring that therapy is affordable, convenient, and effective. We are in-network with most major insurances to soften the impact on your pocket. Sessions take place in your child’s school or our local clinic with after hours and weekend options. Treatment is provided with a goal structured approach for effective and lasting change.
Sign up for more helpful tips by Whatsapp clink on this link https://wa.me/message/7BICLTLE4MJ7L1 or by email, you can sign up on our website https://www.therapyplacenj.com/. To find out more details about the insurances we accept and schools we partner with, you can reach out to our friendly staff at (732)813-4263.