The first day of school is always a little scary, and going to a brand new school can be terrifying. By getting organized and staying positive, you can help make your child’s first days and weeks at their new school the best they can be.
Here are 10 tips on how to make your child’s transition back to school as easy as possible.
1. Include your child in the decision.
If you have several schools to choose from, talk with your child about what each one has to offer and let them share their feelings about each. When it comes time to select specific classes, make sure your child is part of the process as well.
2. Stay positive.
As the first day of schools draws near, start talking with your child about their expectations, hopes and fears for the upcoming school year. Reassure them that other children are having the same feelings, and that they’re going to have a great year. Point out that school is a place where they’ll learn new things and make new friends.
3. Encourage your child to get involved with school activities.
It’s important to encourage your child to participate in an activity or two that particularly interests them. Kids are more likely to be engaged academically if they feel connected through a school activity, club or sport. Talk to your child about their goals for the school year and how they might want to get involved with activities outside of the classroom.
4. Be sure both you and your child get enough sleep.
Help make the transition from the summer sleep schedule to the school sleep schedule easier by starting early. Start the new sleep schedule about two weeks before the start of school to get everyone back in the habit.
5. Take a practice run.
Before the start of the school year, take some time to make sure both you and your child know where to go and what to do on the first day of school. Show your child where the bus stop is. If they will be walking to school, map out the safest route for them to take school. If you can find out what classroom your child will be in, visit the classroom ahead of time so they knows exactly where to go. It’s a also a good idea to call the school in advance and find out if there are any special first-day procedures.
6. Stock up on supplies.
Make sure you or your child know what school supplies and materials are required by their new school. Most schools provide a list for the lower grades, but if yours does not, take it upon yourself to find out.
7. Prepare the night before.
Avoid adding anxiety and stress to the normal first day of school morning rush by organizing as much as you can the night before. Lay out your child’s clothes, prepare their lunch and gather the supplies they will need.
8. Eat a healthy breakfast.
Make sure everyone eats a good breakfast that first morning, and pack your child a healthy snack to help them get through the day.
9. Accompany your child to school that first day, if you’re able.
Even if your elementary school child will be riding the bus regularly or walking to school, you might want to take them yourself on the first day, particularly if they are nervous.
10. Introduce yourself to your young child’s new teacher.
If you take your child to school on the first day, you might want to go into the classroom with them and introduce yourself and your child to the teacher. Be sure to let the teacher know about any special interests or challenges that your child has.
Make sure your child’s first day back to school goes smoothly by being as prepared as you can be.