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As a parent or caregiver, your child's academic achievement depends on your role in preparing your child for school. You can ensure your child's success in learning and life by getting involved early in your child's education. Communication between parent and child is crucial. Your connections to the school and his or her friends will help your child adjust to school. Here are some ideas to help prepare your child for the upcoming year:
- Let your child know what the schedule will be like. Include what time school begins and ends each day.
- Ask your child about his/her feelings -- both the excitement and the concerns for the first day of school.
- Visit the school with your child to see the classroom and meet his or her new teacher before school officially starts.
- Point out the positive aspects of starting school. It will be fun and he or she can make new friends.
- Let your child know that all kids are nervous about the first day of school.
- Leave a note in your child's lunchbox.
- Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.
- Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day of school.
- Arrange for your child to walk to school or ride together on the bus with another child in the neighborhood.
- Find out about after-school activities that your child can join.
- Please be sure to update all contact information for your child.
The start of the school year is an exciting and sometimes scary time for children. Not knowing what to expect that first day often leads to nervous stomachs and sleepless nights before the first day of school. Advance preparation can help relieve some of your child’s anxiety.
- If possible, visit the school before the first day of school, either at a scheduled event or by appointment. Even if your child is a return student, it’s been a whole summer since he’s walked the halls, and a little refresher doesn’t hurt.
- Talk about your child’s fears and expectations in the weeks before school starts. Recount some of your memories as a child. While it’s best to focus on the positive, a funny story or two about your past struggles could help put things in perspective too.
- The week before school starts, work on getting back into a routine. Set your child’s alarm each morning, and have him get up and go through the school-morning rituals. This will help reset his body clock and get him ready to get moving in the morning.
- Check out the school supply list, and make sure your child is prepared.
- Get everything ready the night before. Prepare your child’s lunch, set out backpacks and outfits, and decide what will be on the breakfast menu. Then, send your child to bed early. He’s sure to have trouble falling asleep, so some extra quiet time may help settle his nerves.
- Get your child up a little early that first day to alleviate some of the stress of rushing through the morning routine. Leave the television off to ensure your child keeps moving.
- After school, talk to your child. Kids are notorious for one-word answers, so ask open-ended questions that require a longer response. “Tell me what you did today.” “What is your teacher like?” and “What was the best part of your day?” are some great starters.
We hope your child is looking forward to his return to school. Some advance preparation is sure to help! Most of all, send him to school rested, prepared, and ready to tackle the year ahead.