Preparing Your Child for School
The beginning of a new school year for students can be very exciting and at the same time nerve racking! I know as a child, I was very apprehensive and nervous about the beginning of the year. As your child's teacher, I want to make this time as easy and non-stressful as possible. I have attached some helpful tips on how to prepare your child for a smooth transition.
** The following information is from the American School Counselor Association**
(You can read more about this topic at www.familyeducation.com)
Cures for First-Day Jitters
The same scene is played out on the first day of school across the country: Parents walk toward the school building, holding the hand of their child. The kids have packs on their backs, and maybe butterflies in their stomachs. For some this experience can be stressful. Prepare your child for this big adventure with ten tips from school counselors and teachers.
1. Review the route:
Both adults and kids alike have trouble with change- and starting school is a huge change! You can help your child overcome any fears of the unknown by rehearsing for "opening day".
*As you drive by the school during the summer, take time to review the route from your home.
*Remind your kids where you will be dropping them off and picking them up, or review their school bus routines.
2. Visit the teacher and the classroom:
The building will feel different when it is filled with children. Even so, getting to know the classroom quietly and at his or her own pace will help to create a sense of security for your child. They will have this opportunity to come meet and greet Mrs. Johnson and check out the classroom during Supply Drop Off Day. A letter has been sent home with an updated supply list and letter to parents indicating this year's supply drop off date and time.
3. Supply the Supplies:
Even young children achieve a sense of self-sufficiency when they are prepared for class and can use their own supplies with confidence. Refer to your child's school supply list and make sure to label all of their belongings.
4. Make Clothes Kid-Friendly:
Young children learn to tie their shoes, operate zippers, and undress quickly enough to prevent accidents during this period of their development. Make sure that your child's clothes are kid-friendly and are appropriate for school according to our school's dress code.
5. Adjust Your Clock:
Summer has its own pace and flow, while school demands something slightly different. It will be easier for your kids to ease into a new school year bedtime, wake-up time, and breakfast time if they start to adjust their schedule before summer comes to a close.
6. Set the Scene:
Practicing expected routines and behaviors until they become a habit is a lot of what we reinforce the first few months of school. You can help your child be organized at home by creating routines. If he or she puts their backpack in the same place everyday after school, it's easier to find it the next morning. If your child has homework, and they always do it at the same time and in the same spot, it will become a part of how they do things throughout their school career.
7. Have a Rehearsal Lunch:
Just as a critical eye is recommended when selecting clothes, be picky about the snack and lunch foods you choose for your child. Some juice packs have straws that challenge the most dextrous adults, and some zip top fruit cups need a lot of oomph before they zip! Pack a lunch in a lunchbox or bag and sit down at the table with your child. Practice opening things together. Rest assured lunch aides will be there to help your child. Remind them to ask for help if they need it. Also, review proper lunchroom behavior.
8. Sign up for a Library Card:
Go to the local library before school starts and get your kids their own library cards if they don't already have one. Parents are encouraged to do whatever they can to foster early literacy and a love for reading. Spend twenty minutes reading each day with your child, either together or independently. This is a wonderful way to share special time together, and create an association for him or her between reading and something that feels great...time with mom or dad!
9. Check in with Yourself:
How are you feeling: enthusiastic, apprehensive? No matter how much we might wish it weren't so, our children pick up a great deal from what we say, and from what we do. If you are excited and positive at the beginning of school, your enthusiasm will most likely become part of your child's experience. By the same token, your worries and feelings of anxiety will be transferred to your child. If you express concern, take care that your child doesn't overhear.
Remember that it's sometimes difficult to sort out who isn't letting go of whose hand at the schoolhouse door. If you're sure that it's your child and not you, aim to provide him or her with a good breakfast, plenty of sleep each night, healthy snack in hand, and a reminder about what he or she has to look forward to after school. Give your child a picture of you to keep in his or her supply box, write love notes in their snack bags, and reassure him or her about what time you will see them.
10. Celebrate the New Year!
This is a great time to begin new rituals and traditions at home. Try these ideas to start the year off with a bang!
* The night before school starts, turn dinner into a party by setting the table with special dishes.
*Take a picture of your kids and mark their heights inside a closet door.
* Have your first family meeting.
However you choose to celebrate the new school year, make it an annual event. Memories are one of the most precious things we can give our children. They'll be quick to remind you about your annual back to school celebration the first time you forget.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns! I am here to help!