Summer has flown by and, believe it or not, school starts in just a couple of weeks.
Going back to school to familiar settings for many of our children is welcome. But for those attending new schools, first time elementary students, and for many children who are not certain about new teachers or settings, this can be an unsettling time.
Getting Back in the School Day Routine
For parents, getting students in the “school day” routine can be an important first step in making sure the new school year starts on a positive note. Here are a few suggestions we found from experienced educators that might help.
1. Two weeks prior to the start of school begin getting back into the school year bedtime routine – no more late summer nights.
2. Be enthusiastic about the start of school. Many students, especially younger ones, pick up on their parent’s emotions. If you’re excited, odds are they will be too.
3. Read aloud to younger children to get back in the “book-reading habit”. For older children designate a time for them to read and take a few minutes to discuss with them what they read.
4. Together come up with a couple of ideas/summer stories that your child can share when he/she is asked “what they did on vacation”. Being prepared helps.
5. Shop with your children to pick out both nutritional and tasty lunch items. You don’t want your child trading away food items you packed for lunch.
6. Play fun games that reinforce and reintroduce skills learned earlier (counting games, reviewing colors, reading signs). This will help transition them back into a classroom setting.
7. Whether you’re going to a new school or a new grade, reading books about going to school will help kids feel more comfortable. Some examples include “The Berenstain Bears Go to School” by Stan and Jan Berenstain, “Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner” by Amy Schwartz, “First Day Jitters” by Julie Dannenberg, “I Am Absolutely Too Small for School” by Lauren Child, and “Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown” by Paula Danzinger.
8. Attend “Meet the Teacher” day so your child (and you) will fill comfortable with a new teacher. Also take time to familiarize your son or daughter with the location of their classroom, bathrooms, lockers/cubbies and where to meet the bus or you, if you pick them up.
9. Let your student help shop for school supplies. Often the list of items for each grade can be found on your school’s website. Links to several local Lafayette area school’s school supply lists can be found at School Supplies.
10. Plan ahead how you will say goodbye. Do your children want you to walk them to the bus stop? Who will meet them when you drop them off at school? Think about what your child needs in a goodbye. What will be most helpful — a quick goodbye, or five minutes of cuddle time with you?
The Real Lesson
As we send our children off to school for another year let’s strive to have each student learn to their fullest potential and that their time in the classroom is enjoyable and rewarding.