Thinking About School Re-Entry

School will begin again before we know it, and the return to school routines can bring stress with it. Your child will have at least one new teacher, and if they are in middle or high school, they will have many new teachers. Every child wonders if they will have classes with kids they know. If your child has sensory issues or learning struggles, school may present unwelcome changes from summer’s freedom. 

It is crucial to reestablish school routines before the night before school resumes, and this is supported by pediatricians and therapists all over the country. One important routine to check off is a well visit to make sure everything is physically on track for your child. After that, it is essential to prepare as much as possible, ensuring that school clothes, shoes, and supplies are at the ready. 

But perhaps the most important way to help prepare a child for school is to talk about their feelings and concerns, their goals and hopes. One unique way to do that is to work with your child to create a dream board. You may also have heard this referred to as a vision board. They are not just for adults!

A dream board is a collage of pictures, words, and phrases that can serve as a source of inspiration. They can be on paper or poster board or be digital versions. These are tools that we often use, but they can be super helpful for kids, too as they serve as reminders of important things we are working towards or things we don’t want to forget. 

Some questions to ask your child as they begin a dream board might be:

What is your goal for the school year?

What steps can you take each day to help achieve this goal?

What positive message is it important that you tell yourself?

What do you need from your family to be successful? 

What do you need from your teacher and school community?

Your child’s answers to these questions can come from them drawing, painting, or finding magazine pictures that they can use to fill their dream board. Once complete, post the dream board in a spot your child sees every day, perhaps first thing in the morning to set their day off on a positive note. This will also give you some important insight into the mind of your child and any worries they may have. You can use this one project to keep the conversation going all school year long!

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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