by Amy L
The first day of school is approaching quickly! Teachers have started putting together classrooms, dusting off shelves and getting set up for your little ones to join them back in the classroom. If you’re sending young scholars off for the first (or fifth!) time, KZOOkids has you covered for making the first day back a great one!
1. Get the sleep routine under control early. Some parents are lucky enough to have kids that sleep in during the summer months (not mine!). Two weeks before school starts, start prepping your student to adjust to a schedule by setting bedtimes and wake up times. Adjusting schedules by 15-20 minutes at a time can help your child adjust easily. Also, have your child start doing a routine he/she will also follow every night during the school year. This could include setting out clothes the night before, putting the backpack in the same place, and preparing a lunch for the next day.
Practice the morning routine – waking up, brushing teeth, putting on clothes – and set a timer to make sure you’ll get to school on time.
2. Attend meet the teacher open houses. Open houses are a great opportunity to help your child overcome any first-day jitters he or she may have. You’ll have an opportunity to find your child’s classroom, the nearest bathroom, his/her locker and meet the teacher. This is a great time to give your contact information to the teacher and ask for her email address so you can keep in touch. Having an idea about what is waiting for your child at school will help him/her feel more comfortable on the big day.
3. Have a discussion with your child about what’s coming up, especially if this is the first time your child has attended school. Talk about how he/she will attend in the morning and then spend time reading and writing and doing math, playing with friends and eating lunch.
Discuss how your child will get home. Make sure your child understands the rules of school and riding the bus. If your child is riding the bus, it will be important for him/her to recognize the bus number, the bus driver, and the bus stop. Discuss what happens if no one is there to pick up the child at the bus stop and prepare an emergency plan. Preparing your child as much as possible will help him/her have a successful transition to school.
4. Check out some books about going to school. Purchase a special “before school” book appropriate for your child’s grade (Pre-K/Kindergarten/1st grade) to read before the school year starts. You may even be able to find one to check out from the library.
Discuss the similarities and differences between the character’s school and your child’s school (discussing similarities and differences is a great reading strategy to teach your child as well!) Some children process information better after seeing a picture. Try pulling up your child’s school’s website and looking at some pictures of the school and even staff members.
5. Connect with friends and neighbors. Nothing is better than walking into school that first day than having a buddy on each side. If your child has neighborhood friends that will attend the same school, arrange a playdate for a week before school starts to help the friends reconnect. Sometimes kids will feel more comfortable asking an older peer for help instead of an unfamiliar adult. Older neighborhood kids can take younger students under their wings the first couple of days of school to help ease the transition, especially if your child is a bus rider.
Entering school for the first time and starting a new school year is an exciting time for students. Following these tips will surely help your child have a great start to the year.
Enjoy your last few weeks of summer and have fun getting ready for school!