Going back to school requires preparation and adjustment for children to get the most of the experience. These tips from the University of Houston College of Education can help going back to school exciting.
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Preparing for the first day of school:
• Set a positive tone. Talk about the end of summer and what to expect at school. Focus on fun times in school, seeing old friends again and making new friends.
• Set aside time for your child to read or for you to read with your child. Quiet games and puzzles will also help ease your child into back-to-school mode.
• Get used to the routine. Establish a regular bedtime and wake time that you will keep during the school year.
• Create a quiet study space. This place should be away from TV and other distracting electronics.
• Make doctor and dentist appointments. Make sure you have all required vaccinations, and talk to your child's doctor about any concerns you may have about your child's development.
• Choose an outfit for the first day of school. Review any uniform or dress code requirements. Make sure your child has at least one pair of shoes appropriate for PE and recess – exercise helps children learn.
• Pick up a school supply list - make sure your children have what they need for the new school year.
• Visit the school. Most schools have Meet the Teacher or Orientation days. Call the school to find out dates and details.
• Plan transportation to and from school. Also plan any before and/or after school care.
• Make a contact card for your child’s backpack. Your child should know who to contact if something unexpected happens.
During the first week of school (and beyond):
• Eat breakfast. A nutritious breakfast is important for learning. Think about what will work for your family – a sit down meal, healthy breakfast to go, or breakfast at school.
• Make lunches with your children the night before school. You may also give them the option to buy a school lunch.
• Clear your schedule so that you have extra time to help your child transition to the new school year.
• Set alarm clocks and leave plenty of extra time to eat, dress and get to school.
• After school, ask children about their day.
• Review any papers or schoolbooks your child has brought home. Share your enthusiasm for what your child will be learning.
• Find out when parent nights are at school, and make plans to attend. Introduce yourself to the teachers and find out how the teacher prefers to be contacted. You may also want to send a note to the teacher sharing your contact information. Let the teacher know that you are interested in getting regular feedback about your child. If you can, volunteer to help out in the classroom.