Four Great Ways to Get Excited About Back-to-School Planning

August 21, 2023

The school year is just around the corner, and for most childcare providers, this means implementing some form of educational curriculum. Even the most play-based environments will add toys that help children focus on letter and number learning, circle time for chats about the weather, and more. But if you’re feeling burnt out in your position, it can be difficult to get excited about the extra workload. Below, we’ll dive into a few simple but effective ways to get your spark back, so you can feel just as excited about the back-to-school season as you always have.

Remember Why Back to School Season Matters

Not only does this season prepare young minds for their future education, but it also brings a whole lot of joy. Do you remember the feeling of picking out a new backpack or sharpening your pencils to prepare for a new year as a child? Your preschool-aged friends may not be doing exactly that, but they’re surely looking forward to more art projects, their favorite circle time songs, and different play items.

Now, consider your past children’s social and academic growth. How incredible is it to watch your former preschoolers step into their kindergarten year with ease? Think of the children that knew no letters before attending your care, and mastered the names and sounds of every one by the end. You’re making a real difference in these children’s lives with every academic opportunity you provide.

Also, don’t forget that the structure provided by learning schedules often makes things easier on the provider's end. Not every minute of preschool needs structure  as free play is still important, but regular scheduled time offers important benefits:

  • Sense of order and control
  • A feeling of security
  • Knowledge of limits and boundaries
  • Development of self-discipline
  • And improved behavior as a result.

Reflect on What Has Worked in the Past

Think back to your best “first week” of the back-to-school schedule. Were you using a particular lesson plan? Did you rearrange your learning environment to bring excitement to the kids? Did you base your activities around a story that the children absolutely loved?

Consider recreating that day or week, or using similar elements to create the same, exciting feel.

Consider Adding a New Curriculum

Written curriculums can provide you with inspiration for themes, story time, group activities, individual lessons, and more. Wonderschool offers an incredible number of ideas for all age groups for free, covering:

  • All subject areas, from math and literacy to social-emotional and sensory.
  • All times of day, from circle time to free play to transitions.
  • Various learning philosophies such as Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, and Forest schools

Using a new curriculum like this may spark your joy in planning activities. Revisiting a past curriculum that you loved years prior may also do the same.

Reach Out to Your Network for Support

And last but not least, don’t forget to lean on your support network when times feel tough. A lack of excitement may be one of the lesser troubles that childcare providers face, but it can lead to burnout if not cared for quickly. Chat with your family, other local providers, and your Wonderschool team. They may have new ideas to refresh your mindset, or they may be able to mention memories that will bring back the joys that come with back-to-school planning. They may even be able to share what they’ve done in the past when they’ve felt the same way.

All in all, burnout is a normal part of caring for young children. It’s a rewarding job, but it can also be taxing. When you lean on your best memories, the tools that are designed to support you, and your network, you’ll have an easier time moving past these feelings and into the joy that your job has always brought to you.

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