Setting Children up for Back to School Success

Setting Children up for Back to School Success

Going back to school after the long summer can be a time of either excitement or worry. While your children may be overly excited or even a little bit worried about new teachers, new subjects and meeting their friends, the days before starting school again are always busy and stressful.

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Whatever their age, many kids are apprehensive about starting school or going back to school. The good news is there’s a lot you can do to ease their minds and help them get ready for a new school year.

The following are 10 tips for setting children up for back to school success.

1. Routine 

Establishing a consistent routine is important for children, especially during the school year. It may be helpful to write out the steps in the routine and practice them together. In the evening, this could include doing homework, playtime, having a snack, brushing their teeth, having a bath, and reading before bed. 

2. Communication

Communicate with your children to know their concerns and feelings. Offer help to make their first day of school a memorable one. This discussion will make your children’s back to school journey cheerful. 

3. Encourage independence

Children who play an active role in preparing for back to school such as organizing school supplies and new clothes are more likely to get excited. Age appropriate chores like emptying the dishwasher, dusting, or sorting and folding laundry will also help your child gain independence and confidence.

4. Talk about safety

Review important safety rules. Go over things like looking both ways before crossing the street, sticking to the same route every day, and familiarizing themselves with crosswalk rules. Make it a priority to know their name including how to spell it, their phone number, and the phone number of an adult close to them such as a parent, close relative, or neighbor. Discuss being cautious when talking to strangers.

5. Back to school shopping

Pick a date to go school shopping with your children. This date should be set and organized some time in advance to have a fun and relaxed shopping experience. Let them help in choosing their own backpack, school supplies, clothes, and so on. Allowing children to take part in shopping and giving them the opportunity to make their own selections may increase their excitement.

6. Meet new teachers

It is so important to visit your child’s school before the start of the new school year. This will give you and your child time to become acquainted with new teachers as well as school surroundings. If you are  able to meet with the teachers one-on-one this will give you a chance to address any concerns or questions you and your child may have.

7. Keep lunches simple 

Sometimes being away from home for meals can be difficult. This can be especially tricky with fussy eaters. If it is easier, a healthy sandwich or wrap may be what your children need.  Maybe your child likes particular fruits or vegetables which you can pack as well.

8. Gift a calendar 

Children will be better prepared for school when they can visually see when school will start again. Hang a calendar on a wall in their bedroom or behind their bedroom door. They can check off the days leading up to the start of the new school year.

9. Hygiene

Talk to your children about precautions that their school has been taking since the start of the pandemic. Let them know that they may be asked to wash or sanitize their hands more often, as well as keep physical distance from other students.

10. Homework space

Set up a corner or small space within your home for your children to chill while doing homework. Discuss your children's preference with them on what will work.  Maybe sitting at a table, a desk, or even laying down in a corner with some pillows and a blanket. Whatever works best to help them relax and get their homework done.

Setting Children up for Back to School Success

What tips do you have for setting your children up for back to school success?

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