Getting ready for back to school, the children have been out of school for a long time and there are some steps that help with the back to school transition.
- Ease Back In – Help your children get used to the school schedule ideally from a couple of weeks before school starts. Start with moving bedtimes back in ½ hour increments at least one week before school starts. Since kids have probably been waking up later in the morning on sumer holidays, start waking them up earlier as well. Start getting them to eat on a regular schedule similar to school.
- Visit School Premises Prior to School Start – Even if your child knows the school well, it still feels good to get reacquainted with school and visit their new class. If your child will be starting a new school, find out if you and your child can take a tour before classes begin. Consider scheduling a play date with a child from the new school so your child might see a familiar face in class on the first day.
- Be Encouraging – If your children have any fears be sure to listen to their worries and anxieties and don’t minimize or dismiss them, talk to them about it and reassure them.
- Shopping for school supplies – Note the items he or she needs, how much they cost, and where you can buy them. Shopping for supplies and clothes should be fun, if you have your list of needed school supplies, start shopping now. Many kids find picking out their new pencils, crayons and backpacks to be a lot of fun and something that gets them excited about going back to school.
- Security – Dig out all the ID cards for the designated adult for school runs. Remember to take stock and update names and passport photos of staff that might have changed over the summer months (new drivers, nannies). Rehearse school run plans and ruled if you have to (especially if it is not a parent who can do school pickups). Think Safety! Make sure kids know their street address or phone number. Be sure to review these with younger children. Update your information with the schools (new jobs, addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, emails etc.).
- Meet the Teacher – Meet the teacher and also mention any changes to your child’s life such as family moves and births to help a teacher understand any changes. Most good schools would rather know sooner than later if you are worried about your child’s school experience.
- School Calendar – Usually when the school starts there will be a school calendar sent with the welcome packet. It is helpful for both parents and other caregivers to update phones with upcoming events and set reminders. This should help with planning as well for half terms, public holidays and vacations coming up.
- Plan for the term – Talk with your children about after school schedules and select based on interest. Create a homework station and stock it with age-appropriate school and craft supplies like pens, pencils, erasers and other basics. Create school time tables you follow including days for physical education, library days and all the other extra curricular school activities.
- Create Anticipation and Excitement Together – Let your child lay out his clothes for the first day. Allow the child to pack his or her backpack a few nights before school starts.
- Label items – Label school supplies and other materials if necessary. By the end of each term there is always a host of items in lost and found. Label things like uniform, sweaters, sun hats clearly with your child’s name.
Have fun and Enjoy the New School Year!