As summer draws to a close in our beautiful city of Edmonton, it's time for parents and children to prepare for the much-anticipated back-to-school season. As the days grow shorter and the air begins to signal winter with that hint of crispness, the transition from carefree summer days to a structured school routine can be exciting, and, let’s face it, quite the challenge. Still, with a pinch of planning and an element of enthusiasm, Edmontonians can make the most of this transition and embrace the joys that a new season and chapter brings.
Savour the Final Days of Summer
Before the school bells chime and the homework piles up, take advantage of the last days of summer. Edmonton offers a plethora of outdoor activities, be it picnics in the river valley, visits to local parks, hiking the stunning trails, or exploring the city's vibrant festivals and events. Put your tourist hat on! Creating lasting memories as a family before the chaos begins is a great way to round off the summer before the frosty winter sets in.
Get Up to Speed
If you haven’t already, make some time to sit down and go through any email, newsletters, or other communication regarding your children’s school, especially any important information related to the back-to-school process and/or any changes to expect. You don’t want your child turning up to find that their school has a shiny new card access system in place that they can’t get past, especially if instructions relating to it are later found buried in your inbox.
Refresh and Update Supplies
Prepare for the new academic year by checking off the school supply list nice and early. You likely know from experience that leaving it until the last minute is a bad idea!
Also, involve your children in selecting their stationery, backpacks, and other essentials. This is a great way to get them more enthused, as well as a good opportunity to teach a little budgeting prowess. With a long and chilly winter ahead, investing in warm, durable clothing and waterproof footwear is crucial to keep your kids comfy during their days at school, especially during the commute.
As the lazy days of summer come to an end, reintroducing regular routines can be a welcome relief to some and an aggravating misery to others! Still, it’s a necessary part of daily life, so commit to gradually reintroducing regular routines into the weeks leading up to the return to school in Edmonton.
Adjust bedtimes and wake-up schedules to ensure a smooth transition to the early mornings that the school year demands—some of your kids will inevitably be big fans of staying up late and sleeping all day, so get onto it early!
Create a Dedicated Study Space
Homework can be such a drag, causing stress in the home when you’re supposed to be relaxing after a big day—unfortunately, it can’t be avoided.
Consider designating a specific area in your home as a study space for your child. Having a quiet, well-lit spot for them to do their homework will help them to stay much more organized and focused. Also, remove any distractions, such as video games, TV, and mobile devices from the area to promote a productive learning environment. These days, the world is at their fingertips and it can be hard to avoid the temptation of a quick TikTok scroll, so it’s best to keep those out of sight.
Stay Active Throughout the Year
Though winters in Edmonton can start to feel like an endless freeze fest, it's essential to keep the whole family active throughout the year, and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities in Edmonton. Hopefully, you’ve been engaging in winter sports, such as ice skating, skiing, or snowshoeing, to make the most of the snowy season.
As the temperatures slowly warm, consider what other activities could keep the children (and the parents) nice and active in the run-up to school’s return. This not only promotes physical health but also provides an opportunity to bond and have fun together.
Connect with the School Community
Building a strong connection with your child's school community can greatly enhance their educational experience. Life is busy for most, of course, and it can be all too easy to avoid dashing from one event to the next and to the next one after that. Still, attending parent-teacher meetings, joining the school's parent council, and volunteering at school events can do wonders for you and your child’s connection to their school environment. Getting involved fosters a sense of belonging and helps you stay informed about your child's progress, as well as keeping a firm finger on the pulse regarding any potential challenges they may be facing.
Foster a Love for Learning
Encourage a love for learning beyond the classroom by exploring Edmonton's public libraries, museums, and cultural centers as a family. Take advantage of the city's educational programs and workshops designed to ignite curiosity and creativity in children of all ages.
Plan for the Winter Break
While the back-to-school season signifies the end of summer, it also brings about the anticipation of a fun winter break. Discuss plans for the winter holidays as a family, involving your children in decisions about the activities or trips you might take during this time. Having something to look forward to can really make the transition back to school smoother, if not more exciting.
As the end of summer approaches, Edmonton parents and children should make the most of this time by cherishing moments together, preparing for the new school year, and embracing the unique opportunities that living in Canada's Festival City offers. With a little enthusiasm and some careful planning, the back-to-school season can be a wonderful time of growth, exploration, and connection for the whole family.