As the summer winds down and fall approaches, all too suddenly children and families begin to anticipate the start of a new season … the beginning of a new school year. And with that anticipation children can begin to feel a wide variety of emotions. Here are a few ideas to help your child prepare for school in a positive, healthy way, regardless if they attend our classes or any of the KUSD schools.
During summer vacation your child’s morning and evening routines may vary. Have your child start adjusting to the school year schedule and routine can require patience.
Include Your Children in the Purchasing of their School Supplies
This simple but often over looked task can help children get excited about the change that is going on. Having your child help you shop for school supplies or even store them in their backpack can help them prepare.
Prepare your child by talking to them about what is going to happen at school. Children can handle new things more effectively if you prepare them ahead of time for what is to come. Talk about things that will happen this coming year or if you know who his/her new teacher is discuss who she/he may be. The power of talking through things is a huge blessing to your children. It teaches them how to process new situations.
The First Few Week of School
Try to keep the first few week of school as simple as possible, including limiting outside activities. Children do well with structure but need unstructured time as well.
Make time to really listen to your child and ask how things are going. Use time at dinner to do this or after your child has had some “down time” after coming home from school. Use these questions to help start meaningful conversations:
- What are you most excited about for school this year? Is there anything that makes you nervous or scared?
- What was the most fun you had today? What was the most fun you had this week?
- What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
- Who are some of the people you met?
- What made you smile today?
Set up and keep a school morning routine. If it is helpful, make a morning checklist of things your child must do before school each day (if your child is preschool age you can make this list by using pictures). Make sure to set a time for breakfast so you can be sure your child goes off to school each morning with a full tummy. The night before you can help your child set out clothes to wear or even set the table so you are ready to have breakfast.
Encourage your child during the first week back by putting notes in his/her lunch box or on his/her bed. Talk about school in a positive way and remind your child what a blessing it is to be able to learn and grow in knowledge. Send a brief note to your child’s teacher, too. Teachers love to hear from supportive parents as well!