Getting Your Kids Ready for…SCHOOL!

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 6:30pm
Tami L. Johnson

It’s time to think about getting your kids ready for school! Good deals on supplies and clothing are all around at the stores. Might as well jump on the band-wagon and get going!  Some parents dread this time of year and others rejoice!  Whichever you are—there is a need to get prepared for you and your child.  Even if you may be homeschooling your children, there is a feeling of readiness as you begin the new year.

We all know what it feels like to go through change—whether it be a new house in the neighborhood, new job, or a new school.  Put yourself back in the time when you began school in the new year and how it must have felt.  This includes new teachers, friends and emotions. If we’re aware of the needs our kids have, in regards with back-to-school, we will be able to help them more effectively!

Here are some helpful tips for parents:

Begin Sleep Patterns Before School Starts

Start adjusting your kids’ sleep schedule with enough time to help their bodies and minds adjust.  Start having your child go to bed at an earlier time and waking them up at an earlier time.  Remember that every child is different. Give your kids time to adjust to the new schedule prior to school starting.

Go to Meet your Teacher at Back to School Night

Attend your child’s back to school night or orientation to become familiar with the teacher and her classroom. If your child is in Junior High or High School be sure you go around to meet ALL the teachers in their classrooms, if possible.  Sit down with your child before going to the school and see if they have any questions about what to expect.

Throughout the school year ask your child about his/her teacher and who is in their classes.  Get to know their peers.  For example, find out who they like to play with at recess, PE class, who they sit next to, etc. Taking an interest in your child’s peer groups encourages social development.

Talk about Feelings Between You and Your Child

As you talk about the new friends your child is making and learning about their teachers be sure you ask how they’re feeling.  This reminds your child that you care. Let you child know it’s normal to feel many different emotions, especially at the beginning of the year.  These emotions can range from excitement to fear.

Take Care of Yourself as the Parent or Caregiver

Sometimes the start of the new school year can feel stressful for everyone.  Make sure, as a parent, that your basic needs are being met.  If you prioritize and take care of the things that matter to you.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed take time to scale back on something and simplify. 

Set Some Goals

Is this going to be the year your child gets involved with something new?  An extracurricular activity outside the classroom?  Or maybe it’s the year they will strive to get better grades—even straight A’s. As a parent, you may have the goal to spend more time as a family or attend more of your child’s fieldtrips.  Your teenager may choose to get his/her driver’s license.  Goals should be inspiring not overwhelming.  Look back on the previous year and see what you can do to improve this year.

Celebrate!

We know summer is slipping away and those last few days and weeks we often try to squeeze in the last bit of fun! With the weather so good there’s still time to soak up family memories.  If possible, take the kids on a weekend getaway camping or organize a “stay-cation.” Swimming, roasting s’mores in the backyard, or having the neighbors over for a BBQ to say goodbye to summer are all ways to celebrate…until next time!

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