Six Tips for Back to School

August 19, 2015

Can you believe that we are already in the middle of August!?! Even though the weather doesn’t seem to know summer is coming to an end, we all know what the end of August brings…the start of the new school year. This is a time of year with a lot of changes and transitions. As most of our families are gearing back up for school we wanted to share a few Back to School Tips from NASP (National Association of School Psychologists) in hopes of making your family’s transition back to school as smooth as possible!

Before School Starts

Visit school with your child

If your child is young or in a new school, visit the school with your child. Meeting the teacher, locating their classroom, locker, lunchroom, etc., will help ease pre-school anxieties and also allow your child to ask questions about the new environment. Call ahead to make sure the teachers will be available to introduce themselves to your child.

Re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines

Plan to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast) at least 1 week before school starts. Prepare your child for this change by talking with your child about the benefits of school routines in terms of not becoming over tired or overwhelmed by school work and activities. Include pre-bedtime reading and household chores if these were suspended during the summer.

The First Week

Set Alarm Clocks and leave plenty of extra time

Have school-age children set their own alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Praise them for prompt response to morning schedules and bus pickups..  Make sure your child has plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, and get to school. For very young children taking the bus, pin to their shirt or backpack an index card with pertinent information, including their teacher’s name and bus number, as well as your daytime contact information.

Send a brief note to your child’s teacher

Let the teachers know that you are interested in getting regular feedback on how and what your child is doing in school. Be sure to attend back-to-school night and introduce yourself to the teachers. Find out how they like to communicate with parents (e.g., through notes, e-mail, or phone calls). Convey a sincere desire to be a partner with your children’s teachers to enhance their learning experience.

Overcoming Anxiety

Let your children know you care

If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce the ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.

Reinforce your child’s ability to cope

Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own. But encourage your child to tell you or the teacher if the problem persists. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.

To read the full article visit: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/home_school/b2shandout.aspx