Preparing Your Child For The New School Year

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Whether you can’t wait till your kids are back in school or dread the more regimented days ahead, there’s one thing you can count on: Back to School is always a big transition.

 1. Make sure your child is familiar with the school.
If she was at the same school last year, great! You only need to talk about any differences this year.

2. Take advantage of any orientation opportunities.

3. Facilitate your child’s bonding with the teacher.

All kids need to feel connected to their teacher to feel comfortable in the classroom. Until they do, they are not ready to learn. Experienced teachers know this, and “collect” their students emotionally at the start of the school year.

4. Facilitate bonding with the other kids.

Kids are always nervous about their  teacher, but if they know any of the other kids, they’ll feel more at ease. As a parent, make a special effort to meet other kids in the neighborhood who school with your children

5.Saying goodbye;
For many children, the biggest challenge will be saying goodbye to you. Orchestrate small separations to practice saying goodbye, and develop a parting routine, such as a hug and a saying like; “I love you, you love me, have a great day and I’ll see you at 3!”

6.Ask the school whether you will be able to walk your child into the classroom and hand him off to the teacher.

7.Start conversations about the next grade at school or about beginning school.
Get your kids excited by talking about what they can expect, including snack, playground, reading, computers, singing and art. If you know other children who will be in his class or in the school, be sure to mention that he will see or play with them. Share your own stories about things you loved about school.

8. Get your kids back on an early to bed schedule well before school starts.
Most kids begin staying up late in the summer months. But kids need 9 1/2 to 11 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age. (Teens need a minimum of 9.5; toddlers usually do best with 11). Getting them back on schedule so they’re sound asleep by 9pm to be up at 7am for school takes a couple of weeks of gradually moving the bedtime earlier.

9.Wake up your child’s brain.
You aren’t the teacher, and you don’t need to start school before the school year starts by pulling out the flashcards or assigning math problems. On the other hand, research shows that kids forget a lot during the summer. (Don't worry, they learn a lot from playing, too.) If your child has been reading through the summer months, congratulations! If not, this is the time to start. Visit the library and let him pick some books he’ll enjoy. Introduce the idea that for the rest of the summer everyone in the family (you can include yourself if you like, or you can read to them) will read for an hour every day.

10. Let your child choose his own school supplies.
...whether from around your house or from the store, and ready them in his backpack or bag.

11. The day before school starts, talk about exactly what will happen the next day...

...to give your child a comfortable mental movie:IT WILL SERVE AS AN IMAGERY OF HOW EXCITED THE DAY WILL BE!
Be alert for signs that your child is worried, and reflect that most kids are a little nervous before the first day of school, but that he will feel right at home in his new classroom soon.

12. Get yourself to bed early the night before school...

...so you can get up early enough to deal calmly with any last minute crises. Be sure kids – including teens! – lay out clothes the night before, that lunches are made, and that everyone gets enough sleep and a healthy breakfast. Plan to arrive at school early so you have time for meaningful goodbyes.

13. If your child gets teary when you say goodbye

If your child gets teary when you say goodbye, reassure her that she will be fine and that you can’t wait to see her at the end of the day. Use the goodbye routine you’ve practiced, and then hand her off to her teacher. Don’t leave her adrift.

14. Make sure you’re a few minutes early to pick your child up that first week of school.

Not seeing you immediately will exacerbate any anxieties he has and may panic him altogether. If your child cries when you pick him up, don’t worry. You’re seeing the stress of his having to keep it together all day .

This is true for kids of all ages, who may have uncharacteristic meltdowns during the first week of school, or just before school starts. Chalk it up to stress, don’t be hard on them, and be sure you’re there to talk so they don’t have to resort to tantrums. Before you know it everyone will be comfortable in their new routine and not even looking back as they race into school.

Contributions from: Aha! Parenting.com

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