Summer is over, school has started and you and your kids are getting accustomed to a new routine.
The first weeks of school set the foundation for a good school year. It’s important to get a sense of how your children feel about their class and teachers. Do your best to show an interest in their school work and activities.
Prepare and freeze some easy dinners in advance. This can help ease tension in the household during the first week of school.
Clear your own personal schedule. It’s important that you free up time to help your children adjust to their new school routine. Minimize or cancel any meetings or refuse invitations to events that may take place during evening hours. Being available to your children can help ease their anxiety about the transition back to school.
Make lunches the night before with your child. Older children should prepare them on their own. Ensure backpacks are prepared to go and set by the door.
Set alarm clocks with your children and praise them for starting their day on time. Leave plenty of extra time for getting dressed, eating breakfast and getting ready for school.
After school, meet your children at the front door and sit with them while they have a snack. During the first week of school, review with your children where they should go in the event that you aren’t home to greet them. Leave a card in their backpacks with a neighbor’s information and your phone number.
After your children have a brief snack and chat with you about their day, remind them about homework and encourage them to get started. Set your child up at a predesignated “homework spot”. When homework has been completed, work should be filed in appropriate folders and returned to the backpack.
Have a pleasant dinner and talk with your children about their day at school. Discuss any concerns that they may have. Be prepared to let your children know that you’ll talk to their teachers about anything that’s upsetting them.
Some questions that you can ask include:
*What was the best part of your day?
*What was the hardest thing you did today?
*What did you learn today?
*Who did you play with today?
*What subject was too hard?
*What is different about this year than last year?
*Are there any new rules?
*Who did you sit with at lunch?
Children’s academic and social/emotional growth is influenced by parents’ involvement in their work and communication with them and their educators. The goal is to create a positive and productive school experience that will help them reach their true potential. We want to produce happy and productive children who will contribute to family and the community at large. These simple steps at the beginning of the year will help create a productive and fruitful year for all.