As every parent knows, getting kids excited about a new school year isn’t always an easy process. But cultivating an atmosphere of joy around the start of the school year can have truly momentous effects on a child’s concept of education. As we develop new school year traditions for our children and ourselves to enjoy, we can create moments that our children will always cherish. Here are just a few great ways to get into the swing of the new year. 

  1. Setting Goals for School

 For many parents, encouraging children to succeed in school starts with setting goals that appeal to a child’s sense of self-esteem. Children often respond positively to school when they feel a personal investment in the educational process. Having your children write out or discuss their personal goals for the school year can help them excel on their own terms; moreover, doing so can help parents better understand their children’s needs and personalities. 

  1. Making School Shopping Fun

School shopping is undoubtedly a big part of every new school year; making school shopping a fun process for children can truly get kids excited for the year ahead. To really get your kids in the spirit of the season, let them pick out items like binders, colored pencils, notebooks, or clothes. They’ll be more invested in the process, and they’ll get a kick out of shaping their identities among their classmates. School shopping doesn’t have to be a chore after all: Parents can have fun too!

  1. Make a Fun First-Day Breakfast

 Children can be understandably anxious about their first day back in the classroom. But parents can do much to shape the tone of their child’s first school day of the year. For example, try surprising your kids the morning before their first day with a fun family breakfast. You’ll be sure to create positive memories that will last a lifetime! Preparing favorite meals like pancakes or waffles can start a new school year off right. 

  1. Ask Children About Their Experiences

 Positive reinforcement is a powerful part of a parent’s toolkit. Simply asking children about their experiences at school can get your kids excited about the learning process. Ask them to tell you about their favorite moments of their first day back in school and try to see what parts of their time in the classroom are exciting to them. When kids enjoy their schoolwork and find aspects of school that they genuinely enjoy, they will be well on their way to developing their passion in life. That alone can set the stage for a lifelong love of learning!

Article originally published on Dr. Edward Thalheimer’s Blog