School is back in Session – Getting your Child off to a Good Start!

What to do – what to do??

This time of year is one full of both excitement and anxiety. As a parent, you may have spent the summer working or you may have spent the summer vacationing with your children. Hopefully your child was able to read a few books over the summer or at least watched educational television at one point or another.

Well, the task of getting your child off to a good school start, can influence their attitude, as well as their confidence, which spills over into performance (socially and academically). This transition can be equally stressful for your child as well as yourself.

As always you can help your child adjust to the change by planning ahead and maintaining a positive attitude.  I’ve included a list of suggestions that may help with your transition.

  • Before the new school year begins – make sure your child receives all necessary dental and medical checkups early. Be sure to discuss any concerns regarding your child’s mental and physical development with your child’s pediatrician, who will assess if your concerns are normal and age appropriate or require further review.
  • Thoroughly review your child’s school registration packet as soon as it arrives, as this information covers important information regarding your child’s teacher(s), classroom (s) supplies, sports, health and emergency information etc. as well as volunteer opportunities.
  • Note important dates, and make a complete copy of the packet.
  • Make sure that you buy school supplies early and fill the backpacks a week or two before school starts.
  • Please ensure that you re-establish your child’s bedtime and dinnertime routines (especially breakfast) at least 1 week before school starts. It’s also a good idea to reestablish bedtime stories and household chores, if your child took a break during the summer.
  • Turn off the TV. you can help your child find fun activities to do including Encourage playing quiet games, puzzles, flash cards or even color.  As an early morning activity your child can read instead of watching television, which will help them ease into a good learning process and school routine. Believe it or not television can prove as a distraction prior to school.  This will help your child to arrive at school better prepared to learn if they are engaged in less passive activities.
  • Go to school with your child on the first day, and make other visits throughout the year.  This will allow you to meet their teacher, locate their classroom, locker, lunchroom, etc., will help ease any anxiety your child may have.
  • Designate a place for your child to do daily homework. If you have older children, you can allow them the option to study in their room, just make sure to check their work periodically.
  • For the first week try to clear you calendar so that you are available for any and every issue that may arise that week.
  • For smaller children, set their alarm clocks, if you have teens, have them set their won clock and compliment them for getting right up instead of sleeping in.
  • Make sure your kids have plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, and get off to school. If your child catches the bus make sure you are there to see them off, that is very important. You should never leave to go to work and let your child go off to school on their own (not in this day and age).  Make sure your small child has your daily contact information in their back pack for emergencies including their teacher’s name.
  • Once school is out for the day, check their back pack and retrieve any notes from the teachers. It is also a good idea to discuss with your child what to do if they arrive home and you are not there, for emergencies.
  • School work – make sure that you review your child’s schoolbooks and share enthusiasm for the subjects and your confidence in their ability to do well.

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