So summer is ending and school is approaching. Being prepared can help make sure that the first day back is fun and stress-free, both for you and you and your little one. Here are fifteen ways you can be sure you’re ready.
1. Buy a cool backpack
It may sound silly, but allowing your child to pick out a backpack they like can help ignite an excitement for the upcoming school year. Make backpack shopping a celebrated, exciting occasion that makes going back to school a fun and positive experience.
2. Purchase any school supplies your child needs
Most schools have a list of all of the items your child will need, so double-check with your child’s new teacher and see what you need to get. If there’s no list, go ahead and purchase the staples: pencils, erasers, folders and notebooks. Anything else can be purchased as the school year continues.
3. Update your child’s wardrobe
Different schools have different dress requirements; be sure you know what your child is required to wear and be sure to stock their closet accordingly. For schools that require a uniform, be sure to order their clothing with plenty of time to make alterations if necessary.
4. Pre-order the books your child will need
Not always, but some schools require parents to order and purchase their child’s textbooks before school. If that’s the case with your child’s school, you may be able to save money by obtaining the book list early and ordering them from a cheaper, online source.
5. Start slowly adjusting your child’s sleep schedule
The new routine that the school year will demand of your child can end up being stressful. Your child will be waking up much earlier than they have been all summer, so help them make the adjustment slowly by waking them up earlier and earlier the week preceding their first day.
6. Talk to your child about any new expectations
A new year means new teachers, classmates, coursework and expectations. Talk to your children about the ways that this year may be different or even harder than the previous year and help prepare them for any difficulty they may face.
7. Visit your child’s school
Especially if you’ve moved to a new area and your child is in a new school, showing them the school ground and location (if possible) will help ease their tensions on the first day and help make them feel relaxed and comfortable in their new surroundings.
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8. Sort out transportation
It may seem obvious, but start thinking ahead of time as to how your child will get to school on that first day back. If you’d like to arrange a carpool, you need to contact other parents ahead of time. If you plan to have your child ride the bus, you’ll need to double check where the bus stop is and fill out any necessary paperwork that permits your child to get on.
9. Communicate with your child about any fears or concerns
Going into a new grade can be a big and scary thing, and it’s possible your child is feeling a little less than confident about the new school year. Even if your son or daughter seems excited about going back to school, be sure to ask if there’s anything they’d like to discuss before the big day.
10. Put together your child’s homework space
These days, schools start assigning homework as young as preschool and as early as the first day. Be sure that your child has a designated work space in your home that’s free of distractions, where they can complete any work that’s been sent home during the school year.
11. Set goals with your child
A huge part of personal success involves goal-setting and discipline. Your child is never too young to think about what their goals for the year are, so they can start thinking about how to accomplish them. Before the school year begins, sit down with your child and ask what they’d like to accomplish this year.
12. Stock the fridge
Nutrition and education go hand-in-hand. If you plan to pack your child’s lunch, start brainstorming some healthy, yummy meals you can put in a bag and send off with them, and then do the shopping necessary to acquire those items.
13. Recap with your child what they learned in the previous grade
Unfortunately, the downtime that children get from education during the summer sometimes results in a deterioration of what they’ve learned in previous grades. The good news is that a quick brush-up session can go a long way.
14. Consider updating your child’s vaccinations
Undoubtedly, your child’s school is a pool of germs and bacteria that may be new to their immune system. If you are a family that vaccinates, double-check when your child’s last round of shots was; it might be time to update them.
15. Get your child’s eyes tested
This is one a lot of parents might not think about, but leading physicians recommend that children get their eyesight tested every year before school. Children don’t always have the agency or awareness to know if they’re seeing poorly, and poor eyesight can initially manifest as poor grades and performance in school.
Along with a new school year comes all new expectations, routines and challenges. It’s not easy to jump back into the rhythm of school, but thankfully there are ways that you can ease the blow and help your child have a stress-free first day. Going back to school should be a fun and positive experience for both you and your son or daughter, and these 15 tips can help make sure you’re prepared.