Checklists & Routines
While off from school for the 12 weeks of summer break, kids their own agendas. Having to fit school into their schedule can be traumatic. Creating a structured morning routine eases them back into the idea of going to class every day to learn and be productive. If telling your kids what to do and when doesn't work, try showing them what to do. Colorful visual checklists of what must be done in the morning may help them sort their days and ease the anxiety of going to school. Not only does having a routine help organize their mornings, studies also show kids with family rituals tend to have better emotional and social health.
When your children don't want to go to school, try to not fight with them. Think of it like quicksand: the more you struggle, the deeper you go. There may be a host of reasons why your children don't want to go to school aside from not wanting to read books for kids. Communicate with them. Start by asking them what you can do to make going to school easier for them. Find out if there are specific reasons they don't want to go; there may be complicated motivations for refusing to go to school other than wanting to stay home. Giving them a chance to voice their feelings about going to school will give you a better understanding about how to get them on the school bus.
When going to school gets tough and you give in to letting them stay home, make sure they know it's not playtime. Staying home is an incentive if they get to watch TV, play video games, and lounge on the discount furniture. Make staying home as unappealing as possible. Establish rules for sick days and apply them to days they refuse to go to school. For instance, don't allow them to leave the house unless it's for a doctor's appointment, or if they're too sick to go to school, they're too sick to play and watch TV. If going to school is more fun than staying at home, they'll likely go to school.
Just like your job, make a set number of personal days an option. At the start of the year, let them know they have personal days to do what they want. When they're used up, that's it. No more free days. Kids may be more willing to go to school if they know there is a day or two they can play with.
Encouraging kids to learn is one of the many duties of being a parent. With the right support, kids will be willing, if not eager, to get to class.