It happens to all parents, even the most prepared. We look up from inflating pool toys and hosting backyard barbecues and see that summer is quickly coming to an end, which means it’s now officially “Back to School” season. For those parents with young kids entering their first year of school it can be especially daunting. Here are five tips for
starting the academic years off right.
1. Get to school early, a month early!
Before the school year begins, take the time to visit your child’s school and take a tour. Visit the essential places: the classrooms, cafeteria, school office, etc. Practice getting in/out of the car so that the car line will be less stressful when starting your day or visit the bus stop and talk about the procedures for riding a bus.
2. Enjoy reaching this milestone in your child’s life
Worrying too much about making everything perfect that first morning can be distracting and give your child anxiety. It is great to have the picture- perfect outfit and hairstyle on that first day, but staying calm when things get hectic will give your child a far better start to the school year. Additionally, do not panic if your children are unfamiliar with the basics or forgot some of their lessons. There is considerable variation in academic abilities for children entering their first year of school.
3. Saying Good-Bye
Keep the morning goodbye short, sweet, and positive. Some students are very anxious for the first few days, and it is very encouraging for your child if you remain calm, confident and upbeat. Remember, your child can sense when you are stressed or sad.
4. Raise your Hand
Trust and talk with your child’s teacher often. They love your children just like their own and genuinely want the best for every child in their classroom. Ask your child’s teacher what the best way to keep in contact is. Some teachers prefer emails over office visits. More and more teachers have apps or websites to help parents stay up to date, but you should still expect lots of paperwork sent home. Check their backpacks often for notes from the teacher, permission slips, homework, and parent communications.
5. Build Good Study Habits Early
Set your kids up for success by establishing an after-school routine with your child. Is it okay to watch T.V. before homework is finished? Do we get a snack before or during homework? Do we do homework immediately after-school or in the evening? A schedule helps your child know what is expected of them and helps them stay consistent with their studies. This routine will set the tone for years to come.