Fortunately for parents, summer vacation does not last forever. As summer winds down and parents are just about ready to pull their hair out, it is important to prepare your child for the school year and the many changes that come with it. Whether your child is entering a new school, advancing a grade, or starting school for the very first time, there are likely to be some pre-school stress and jitters on both ends. Parents and kids alike often get comfortably lazy during summer vacation, and having a plan will definitely help get everyone prepared for the routine of the school year ahead.
Visit the school beforehand and meet the teacher. If your son or daughter is going to a brand new school, it is very important to visit the school before the first day. But even if your child is going to the same school as the year before, knowing the way around is still essential. Take a tour together and familiarize yourself with the layout and your child’s classroom location. Few things are scarier for children than entering an unknown place for the very first time. Knowing your child’s teacher is also a great way to feel comfortable with your child being away from you all day. And your child will feel more confident having a teacher they are familiar with. Getting used to things beforehand will help ease fear of the unknown.
Help ease jitters with positivity. Whether your child is open about his or her feelings or not, chances are he or she is feeling at least a little stressed with the upcoming school year and all the changes it brings. And while you may be feeling some strong negative emotions yourself, it is important to keep those concerns from your kid. If he/she knows that you are having a hard time, these feelings will infiltrate your child’s thoughts and influence feelings of negativity. Chat with your child about how he/she is feeling and maintain a positive attitude. Be enthusiastic about the positives that the school year will provide and let your child know you’re always there for them to discuss fears and excitement alike.
Go shopping together. A new chapter of life often means new things. Many school supply lists are available online, but if not, you can generally pick them up at your child’s school. Take your student shopping for some new necessary school supplies and clothes. Allowing your child to pick out new items for the school year helps make them feel special and helps to build excitement. It also allows your child to let his or her personality shine a bit.
Get into a routine. After a long summer, your child’s biological clock needs to be reset. Students generally need a week or two to readjust, so it’s important to begin changing your child’s routine before the first day of school arrives. Begin following a consistent bedtime routine with a couple hours of relaxing activities beforehand and start getting up at the same time each morning. The day before school starts, make sure your child has his/her clothes set out and ready to go, as well as a backpack and any necessary school supplies. Pack a lunch before heading to bed at night, and have plans for breakfast in the morning. The more preparation you do before bed, the less you have to do in the morning.
What steps does your family take to prepare for the end of summer/back to school?