The transition from summer fun into the more structured school day environment can be challenging for both your child and you. With planning, you can prepare your child for the first day of school and be instrumental in getting the school year off to a successful start.
The following are some simple suggestions from the Department of Education and Dr. Gail Gross PhD. Ed.D that may help ease the transition from summer to school:
Before School Starts
It’s a good idea to take your child in for a physical, dental, hearing and eye exam before school starts. If your child will be participating in a sports activity, your family doctor may have to sign a release form to permit your child to participate.
During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins.
Buy school supplies early. Shopping early, often gives the best deals on supplies and ensures that the “Perfect Book bag” is still in stock. Some states offer a “sales tax holiday” for a few days each year. This means that certain products won’t be taxed during a set period of time. If your state offers a sales tax holiday, you may be able to save money on clothes, shoes, and other supplies. Shopping for school supplies is also a great way to teach your child the value of giving to others. Have your child help you select and fill a book bag for children in a homeless shelter.
Take charge of the TV. Too much television or mobile devices cuts into important activities in a child’s life, such as reading, playing with friends or talking with family members. Start limiting your child’s TV now before school starts and you stand a better chance of keeping control once the school year begins.
If attending a new school, try to visit your child’s school at least one week in advance. Let your child get familiar with classrooms, hallways and important offices such as the principal and the nurse. If possible, talk to the teacher, the nurse, the guidance counselor and the principal in advance. Show both your interest and your goodwill. Tell them of any concerns you have in regard to your children’s health, and apprise them of any learning problems in advance.
Freeze a few extra meals or plan some easy to throw together crock-pot meals. This simple step will give you more time in the evening to go through all those countless papers that are sent home from the school and it will also give you extra time to spend with your child to see how they are settling into their school or classroom.
Plan Healthy Breakfasts and Lunches. As you prepare to send your children back to school, remember that nutrition is an important factor in academic performance. Studies have shown that children who eat healthful, balanced breakfasts and lunches are more alert throughout the school day and earn higher grades than those who have an unhealthy diet.
A ‘safety first’ attitude is a very important part of preparing for the first day of school. You want your children to know traffic safety as well as physical safety. Young children should know their name, how to spell it, their telephone number and the number of a safe and responsible adult that is designated by their parents. Teach your child the proper way in advance to deal with bullies by reporting them to either a teacher or counselor.
Don’t forget to talk with your children about their feeling or concerns they may be having about the new school year. Ask your child what you can do and what they can do to make this first day go smoothly. Working together and in partnership with your child will likely have a smooth outcome and they will go happily off to school.
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