Back to School Tips
It may be tough to believe, but the reality is that summer is almost over, which means that most kids are getting ready to go back to school. Although the process is exciting, especially for the parents that are ready to get their kids out of the house, it can also be overwhelming. However, it is easily manageable with careful planning and preparation. In this article, we will provide back to school tips for students and parents; because, let’s face it, parents often have more anxiety about sending their little ones off to school than the kids themselves.
Talk to Your Child – It is extremely important to talk to your child about going back to school. They likely enjoyed the laziness of summer, and may not want to go back to homework and tests. However, parents should explain the importance of school for knowledge and learning; and how that will affect each individual and their future. They should also point out how fun school can be, and how the kids will see their friends upon their return. Many times, parents can assuage kids’ fears about school simply by spending the time talking to them. For those that are starting a new school, purchasing books about the process and explaining what the school day will look like in great detail may be very helpful.
Tour the School – This is important for kindergartners and those that are starting a brand new school. The thought of being left to fend for themselves in an unknown location can prove to be very stressful to children. Therefore, it is wise visit the school, if possible, before the first day of class. Call the school administrators to inquire about school tours, meet-and-greets, play dates, etc. By getting the know the school, kids can see the playground, the library, and special projects, which can calm their nerves and get them excited for the school season. Parents will also greatly benefit from the tour so that they don’t get overwhelmed or lost during the first day of school, not knowing where to drop off of pick up their child.
Prepare School Items – If you are sending your little ones off to school for the first time, there is a list of items you may need to get them ready. First, many schools may place certain restrictions on shoes and clothing; for example, not allowing open-toed shoes or sandals. Others may require a specific uniform, or clothing of a certain color. Call the school to find out what items should be prepared.
Second, get school gear ready; while backpacks, lunchboxes and pencil cases may be obvious, some items may not be. For example, many teachers like to pass out wish lists of items that parents can donate to the classroom at the start of the new school year. With budget cuts hitting many schools across the country, teachers are in dire need of school supplies, which parents can help to acquire. Try to give your child a say in the school supplies you choose; by picking items with their favorite color or character, you can get them more excited for the first day of school.
Update the Routine – During the summer, many families have a lax schedule, allowing their kids to stay up late since they don’t have to get up early. It is wise to slowly adjust the schedule back to normal, rather than suddenly wake up your child early on the first day of school. Start by adjusting bedtime by 15 minutes earlier every few days, and waking them up by 15 minutes earlier, as well. When it’s time to go back to school, the kids should be comfortable with their new routine.
Arrange Their After School Care – School typically ends around 2 or 3pm, much earlier than most working parents get out from work. If you do not have the capability to pick up your child, you must arrange their after school care. Consider a family member or a friend that would be responsible enough to pick up your little one, and take care of them until you come home. You may hire a babysitter, if no one else is available. Most schools also offer free and paid after school care. Those in upper grades are usually offered the chance to stay on the yard and play, which is a free program for parents. Younger kids have other, typically paid programs, which will pick them up, give them a snack, supervise homework time, and allow for free play.
Back to school time is both stressful and exciting, for the parents and the child. There are new challenges that families must deal with for a successful new school year. Don’t leave all the preparation for the last minute. Figure out all the details so that you and your little one can enjoy a stress-free first day at school.