Especially for young children, going back to school (or going to school for the first time!) can be so exciting, but also a very stressful time. Here are some tips to remember for making the transition into a new school year easy on you and your child!
- “Test drive” your child’s backpack a day or two before school starts, making sure to pack it with everything they’re likely to be taking back and forth to school. Is it easy to open and close for your child? Is it too heavy? Doctors recommend for children to carry no more than 10-15% of their bodyweight in a backpack.
- Have a contingency plan for those inevitable ‘we’re running late’ mornings that includes some readily on-hand, no-prep breakfasts. Starting the day on an empty stomach is hard for everyone.
- Especially if your child is transferring into a new school or care group, see if it is possible to arrange a small play-group with children who will also be in the program, before the first day. That way, your child can see a familiar face right off the bat.
- Have a set routine in the morning. This will help you and your child get out of the house on time, and not forget things. Practice a few days the week before school starts.
- About two weeks before school starts, start going to bed and waking up on the ‘school’ schedule so your child has plenty of time to adjust.
- Setting a space in your home aside for homework and study can make a big difference to a child who is still developing good discipline and habits about their schoolwork. Be sure to designate a special place, away from television and other distractions, where your child can study.
- Remember... School is fun! New friends, new skills, and new activities will make the school months lively for you and your child. Be excited about their life, and share yours with them, too!