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School is Cool

Remember your first day at school? Whether you began your ‘school career’ as a tot in nursery, or later on at the ripe age of 5 in kindergarten, everyone seems to have some recollection of their first day at school.

Back in the ‘old days’ before online self-help was so readily available, parents relied on their own past experience to ease the way for their kids to enter the classroom for the first time. Today, so much advice is available. But, remember, you know your own child best. Here are some tips that might make your child’s transition from leaving the familiar atmosphere of home, to embarking into the adventure of the classroom.

Your little one had already had some socialization with your friends’ kids or family members. But now it’s time to go into the world, so…

Set up play dates and parties
Once the class list comes out, hop on the phone and start scheduling playtime with old and new kids to remind your youngster about the friends he has missed over vacation period. Then, at the end of the first week of school, get your school-aged child enthusiastic about the new year -- and his new classmates -- by planning a back to school party.

Do a test run to the school
Walk or ride your bikes to school every morning a couple of weeks before back to school time to get your kiddo comfortable -- and hopefully less resistant -- to the morning routine. Chances are, your child's new teacher will be getting the classrooms ready for the new year, giving you a chance to make an early introduction.

 Bring kids along for back to school shopping
Involve your kids in shopping for new things for the new year, from picking out a new backpack to stocking up on a wardrobe or uniform pieces.

Personalize back to school gear
Backpacks, lunchboxes or pencil boxes can be personalized and will help get kids motivated to begin the new school year. Opt for your child's initials if you're worried about putting their full name for strangers to see.

Enroll kids in extracurricular activities
Your youngster will get the opportunity to make new friends, and get into action.  Getting involved in extracurricular activities and after school programs can help foster school spirit, especially at the beginning of the school year.


More Back to School Tips:
Questions and Concerns Your Kids Might Have

Although these might not be earth shattering to you – remember your own childhood and recall how important these issues were to you:

 Will my teacher be nice?
Where will I sit?
Will the other kids like me?

Many kids get nervous about heading back to school. A major part of a successful back to school week is establishing a routine and explaining where the bathroom is, what happens when you go to gym class and when to expect recess. With a little preparation, parents can help. Here’s how to make your child’s transition a smooth one.

Remember Routines
Family schedules tend to slide in the summer – like crazy bedtimes, popsicle habits, and wearing swimsuits day after day.  Readjusting can be hard when September comes. Moms and professionals agree that before school starts, it’s important to start focusing on earlier bedtime and resuming to eat healthier foods. Begin practicing school year habits a week before.

Get Ready!
Don’t underestimate the fun and importance of new stuff for the big day. With younger kids, a bag full of school supplies, a new backpack and a few new items of clothing tend to gear them up without any further encouragement.

Show Them the Way
If your kid is new to the school, show them their classroom, what entrance and exit to use and where the bathroom is located. If they’re taking the bus, visit the bus stop location and explain how to get on and off, especially if it’s the first time. Show them the drop off and pick up spot at school, too—if you’re not sure where it will be, call the school ahead of time to find out.

Some schools will allow you to take a tour during the summer and arrange to meet the teacher. Some teachers suggest encouraging a sense of ownership on the tour: “This is your school, your gym, your lunch room...”

Prepare the Teacher
Let your child’s teacher know about any specific health issues your child might have and also alert the teacher about any allergies. If your child needs to use the lavatory often, it is important to advise the teacher as well.

Talk, Talk, Talk
Think of all the positive things that your child(ren) like about school and I talk about them as much as possible. Ask about friends they haven’t seen over the summer. Look at your kids and note anything different that their friends might also notice, such as a new hairstyle or if they’ve grown over the summer.

Speak to your kids in a low-key way, reminding them how important learning is to you.  Parents can help by being role models throughout the year, not just during school time. For example, show how much you like reading, or talk about math and measuring when you’re making a recipe together.

Be Organized
Ease back-to-school anxiety by being prepared. Help your child to lay out their clothes and help pack their backpack the night before. Include a healthy lunch and a snack that your child can open and eat on their own.


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