Back to School: Getting Yourself and the Kids Ready

It’s back to school time! The summer is almost over and your little ones have, or are about to embark on another school year. Depending on their age and personality some children may have a harder time grasping on to the reality of going back to school, or starting school for the first time. As parents it’s helpful to ease our children’s anxiety by preparing them for what’s to come. Getting yourself and your child ready ahead of time will diminish the stress and fear the first day of school can bring.

Today we are sharing helpful tips on how to prepare yourself and your child for school:

 

Preschool

Preschool is a big step for your little one. It means they are growing up and taking on new responsibilities. They will be interacting with other children on a daily basis and learning new things such as, sharing, reading, art, and learning how to be polite. Before your child begins school it’s important to be aware of their schools curriculum, and how you will prepare yourself and your child for what’s to come. Preschool will bring new, exciting, and also intimidating factors your little one might not be used to. They will be around other children their age more, and they will be taking orders from someone else besides their mommy. It’s important to make them aware of this before they begin school.

A great way to do this is by talking and reading books about school with them, teaching them the importance of patience and how to follow rules, planning play dates with other children during the summer, teaching them how to share with others, and most importantly, urging them to be creative and themselves. Giving your child a sense of what they will expect will make those first couple weeks a little easier for the both of you.

It’s also very important to think about how you’re going to say goodbye that first day. It’s more than likely your child, and even you, will become upset when it’s time for you to go and say goodbye. You’re little one will assume you’re leaving them to a room full of strangers, and may become frantic. It’s vital you stay calm and remind them you love them and will be back as soon as school is over. Think about creating a goodbye ritual before school starts to practice with your child. This way they will be a little less nervous when it’s time for you to go.

 

Kindergarten and Elementary School

The anxiety might have resided a little from preschool, but starting Kindergarten is still something to plan for. While preschool was only a half day, your child will have to sustain a full day away from mom, and Kindergarten will bring another new set of responsibilities and assignments for them to master. During the summer think about practicing simple guidelines your child will follow in school such as, following bathroom rules, spelling, reading, writing, remembering their address and phone number, and counting. It’s also fundamental to encourage them to be social at school. Get them involved with extracurricular activities during the summer where they are participating with kids in their classroom. If they are shy, talk to them about it. Inspire them to put themselves out there and always nurture their independence, even though it might seem hard.

Just like Preschool, it’s important to teach them the importance of patience and sharing. Go over the same things as mentioned above. A few weeks before school starts reestablish some of their school routines to get them ready, like waking up a littler earlier instead of sleeping in.

Elementary school is much like Kindergarten is many ways. You’ll want to prepare them for their school curriculum and remind them about their responsibilities as students. Establishing a routine on ways to study, organize themselves, and listen are major things to set in with your children. These skills will help them with the extra homework and other assignments they will be in charge of completing.

 

Middle School

Middle School is another big transition for your child. Instead of being part of one classroom they may now be part of a home-room, and will be switching rooms and engaging with new students. While their atmosphere is changing, so are their emotions. It’s important to be attentive to your child’s needs, but also give them the space they need. Always let them handle their own situations, unless you feel your presence is needed. By giving them their independence you are helping them grow and be responsible adults.

Begin the summer before school knowing what your child needs to know. Their levels of education will be expanded into broader and more complicated areas such as, the scientific method, nonfiction books, and current affairs. Start discussing these issues with your child to prepare them for the new school year. It could also be significant for you and your child to plan a visit to their new school where they can walk around and meet some of their teachers.

 

Transitioning for Parents

Parents, this will be an emotional roller coaster not only for your children, but for you as well. Every new school year brings a new and more mature child. It can be emotional watching your children grow and become their own person, but it’s also very exciting! As a parent it’s your job to be attentive to their needs, while encouraging them to succeed. Make it your mission to be there at the first day of school meeting, parent/teacher conferences, sports games, music recitals, etc. Make attendance a priority for both you and your child, and that tardy slips are a big deal.

Another important thing to remember is to be excited, but realistic when your child is beginning school. Talk to them about their concerns and their fears. Try to stay away from saying things like, “It will be the best time of your life!” or “There is nothing to be afraid of.” School can be an emotional time for some kids, and by giving unrealistic remarks can be a real let down.

 

 

No matter what grade your child is beginning, the best thing to do is encourage them to be themselves and be there for them as a parent, not a friend. Love them and cheer them on as they succeed and grow!