This week, the Savannah-Chatham County schools and Liberty County schools will be heading back to school. It is hard to believe that the summer is actually over! Back to school time can be stressful for the entire family at any age. Children and parents are nervous about going to school, having a new teacher, new classroom and making new friends and parents are nervous for their children! Parents need to learn to manage their own anxieties in order to help their children have a positive experience for their first few days at school. It is very important to get into a school schedule from morning routines to after school activities. Children become more comfortable with their new surroundings (the classroom) and learning once they are comfortable with their routine.
Getting your child prepared for school for the first time requires planning and practicing. There are many things that need to be taken care of before the child goes back to school as well as during the first week of classes. If you follow these tips, the first day of school won’t be so stressful:
1. Make sure that the child gets enough sleep! Adjusting the child’s bedtime earlier the week before school starts gives the child time to get used to a new schedule. Young children aged 3-7 years old should get at least 11-13 hours of sleep a night.
2. All the children’s forms, including permission slips, health forms and school supply lists are completed and organized. Keep these items together in a folder (per child) or scan them into the computer for safe keeping.
3. Reach out to the child’s teacher and introduce yourself and your child. Attend the “meet the teacher” events at the school.
4. To make the child more comfortable, do a walk-through of the school before classes start. Show them their classroom, the cafeteria, the restrooms and the gym. These are the places where the child will be the most during the school day.
5. Label everything that the child will be taking to school such as school supplies, backpack, lunch box, coat and tennis shoes.
6. Take the child on a special “back to school” shopping trip to get supplies and clothing. Allow the child to help pick out colors of folders, notebooks and backpacks.
7. Get your child back in the healthy eating habit. Pack healthy snacks and lunches for the child.
8. Designate a homework space in your home that is specifically for homework and nothing else.
9. Create a “family station” where children can pick up/drop off school bags and lunch boxes. This would also be the place for them to leave their school homework folders for the parent to review.
10. Plan playdates with classmates of your children to help them make the transition to back to school easier.
11. Don’t forget to create the back to school routine that includes morning, after-school and evening activities. Allow the child time directly after school to “decompress” and play before delving into homework.
12. Parents should have a positive attitude about going back to school and share their enthusiasm about learning, reading and school with their children.
Stop N Stor wishes good Luck to everyone heading back to school from the kindergarten children to college seniors! Have a safe and happy 2014/2015 school year!