7 TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR
Is Your Child Ready to Take on Their New Grade?
By Megan Bailey
Summer is coming to an end, and school is right around the corner. It is a time where parents, teachers, and students across the country are shifting their focus away from the sun and fun and back to learning. Your child might not look forward to the return of school, but these tips will help them get adjusted. Make the first few weeks a breeze and set your child up for success.
Start talking about the upcoming school year.
Before the summer ends, look for opportunities to talk about the school year with your child. Do not let them get upset about camp ending. Instead, give them millions of reasons to get excited about school starting. Remind your child how great it will be to see their friends again, to play at recess, and learn more about their favorite subjects. Highlighting these topics will help your child get in the right mindset for the year.
Go back-to-school shopping.
Some of the best times we had growing up were going back-to-school shopping with our family. It is incredibly exciting as a kid to get new colored pencils or a funny designed folder. They can pick and choose what supplies match their style. Before the first week of school, sit down with your child, and organize their backpack so that they have everything they need. Additionally, this is a great time to go shopping for new clothes. Find outfits that will last your student all year long.
Get to know their teacher.
When class lists go out to parents, texts start flying between school kids. They want to know who is in their class and what teachers will be with them for the year. Your child may even reach out to older siblings for friends to get the low-down on their teacher. As a parent, you might be just as curious. Soothe all your worries by attending the pre-school meet and greet. If that is not an option, email the teacher, and introduce yourself. Teachers are there to help your child thrive, and they cannot wait to get to know their students. Approach the conversation as a collaboration between you and the teacher, rather than an inquiry if they are the right fit. This will help you start the year off right.
Ease “new kid” worries.
You might have just moved into a new town, or your child is stepping up to a middle or high school. Either way, this can cause children to have some anxiety over their first day of school. Being the new kid is never easy, so find out as much as you can for your student ahead of time. Look online at the school website or social media channels to learn about the school culture. Take your child in for a tour when you are able so that they can get the feel of things. Additionally, attend every back-to-school event you can so that your child can meet some classmates early.
Introduce new routines early.
A new year at school might mean an earlier bedtime or new morning schedule. Get these implemented sooner rather than later, so your child has time to adjust to them. Otherwise, they will try and resist the changes. You might need the leeway to get used to them as well. You might need to start carving out more time in the morning to make your children breakfast and lunch, for example. The first few weeks will not be so overwhelming, and the transition will be a lot easier if you introduce the routine a few weeks before school starts.
Keep a positive attitude.
Your child might be annoyed, anxious, fearful, or stressed about having to return to school. Help combat their woes by keeping a positive and upbeat attitude. Recall all the fun and exciting events, like field trips, science experiments, and time with friends, that will help your child get excited. Encourage them to get excited about learning by reading new books, playing new skill games, or the like. This will help them shift their attitude to summer fun to school success.
Talk about expectations.
As your child gets older, there will be new expectations placed on them at school. Middle school and high school children will be expected to take on more responsibility in the classroom. Before the school year starts, sit down with your child, and lay out clear expectations you and your teachers have for them. This can include goals about grades, homework, and day-to-day activities. With additional information, your child will have less stress.
Open communication with your child and their school is vital to having a successful school year. By preparing for the return to school in the summer months, your child will have a much smoother transition. Give your child the confidence to start the new grade with the above tips.