Although summer has just begun here in Texas, there is no time like the present when it comes to thinking about the new school year. Kids who are starting school for the first time or moving to a new school have to cope with the biggest adjustment, of course. The good news is that a little bit of preparation and forward thinking the process can be much smoother.
Here are a few helpful tips:
Make Sure Your Child Is Familiar with The School
If she attended the same school in the past, that’s fantastic! This year, you only need to discuss any differences. However, if this is her first year at this school, you should make some trips there. Even if there is an official orientation day right before school starts, begin by visiting the school. If you have access to the playground, that is an excellent method for your child to bond with her new school. If not, appreciate it from behind the fence and get her excited about the slide or climbing structure.
If the building is open, go ahead and take a look around. You’ve hit the jackpot if you’re allowed to pop your head into the library, peek into a classroom or two, and use the restroom (essential in making her feel more secure there). You might not get much further than the front office, where you can mention that your child will be starting school in the fall and wanted to help them get acquainted with the building and staff. In any case, the more your child sees of the school, the less she’ll worry about the unknown and the more at ease she’ll be on the first day.
Always Use Orientation Days
Many schools allow new students, particularly those in the lower grades, to attend an orientation session before the start of the school year. If the school does not provide such a program, ask if you and your child can come over for a few minutes before school to meet the new teacher.
Teachers are busy preparing their classrooms and materials at that time, but most experienced teachers will gladly spare a few minutes to greet a new student and make them feel at ease, knowing that this helps their students settle into the school year. While you are there, ask about future class activities, what might be required as far as school supplies and if there are any expectations or needs for parent participation.
Help Your Child Bond With Their Teacher
To feel at ease in the classroom, all students must feel linked to their teacher. They are not ready to learn until they do. Experienced teachers understand this and emotionally “collect” their kids at the start of the school year. However, if you can arrange for your child to meet with the teacher ahead of time, do so. However, there are numerous ways to make your youngster feel as if he knows even a teacher he has never met.
Teach Them To Bond With Other Children
Children are always concerned about seeing their new teacher, but if they know any of the other students, they will feel more at ease. Make an extra effort to meet other youngsters in the area if you’re new in town. Schools are frequently happy to introduce new families to one another, allowing children to bond with other new students in the weeks before school begins. Even if your child is not new to a school, find out who the other kids in her class are and set up a playdate for her to feel more connected if she hasn’t seen these kids all summer.
Practice Saying Goodbye
Saying farewell and the anticipation of time apart will be the most difficult issue for many children. Plan tiny separations to practice saying goodbye and create a parting routine, such as a hug. You may give your child a keepsake that reminds her of you that she can keep in her pocket while you’re separated and return when you’re back. Most kids like to have a family photo in their bags.
Get Your Child Back On An Early-To-Bed Schedule Before School Starts
During the summer, most children begin to stay up late. However, if you have to wake your child up for school in the morning, he or she has not gotten enough sleep. Children require 9 1/2 to 11 hours of sleep per night, depending on their age and physiology. It takes a couple of weeks of progressively adjusting the bedtime earlier to get kids back on track so they’re sound asleep by 9 pm and can wake up on their own at 7 am for school.
Imposing an early bedtime, the night before school tends to result in a recipe for chaos also it can almost be guaranteed that you’ll have a child who is just not ready for an earlier bedtime used to the summer schedule, having slept in that morning and experiencing night-before-school jitters. You can expect everyone’s anxiety to rise in that situation. One way that we have found that works is to keep an eye on the calendar and begin moving bedtime earlier every week by having the littlest ones read in bed or doing something quiet before lights out, which is also beneficial to their reading and self-relaxation skills.
Get Yourself To Bed Early The Night Before School
Give yourself enough time to manage and deal with any last-minute emergencies with as much ease and calm as possible. Make sure that kids, especially teenagers, put out their clothing the night before, that lunches are prepared, and that everyone gets enough sleep and has time to grab something good that will make a great nutritious breakfast.
Don’t forget to take that “first day of school” photo before you go! Getting yourself to bed early means that you’ll have the best shot helping them to get ready for the day.
What Has Worked for You?
Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below.