Saturday, August 8, 2009

Preparing For The School Year

In the upcoming weeks, millions of parents will be packing lunches, buying new school clothes, and putting their kids on school buses while waving goodbye tearfully. That’s right, a new school year is upon us! Although the back to school store sales often signify the end to a fun summer vacation, many parents are caught off guard by the quickly approaching first day of school. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your school-ager has a successful and safe academic year.

Make sure that they get enough sleep and eat a proper breakfast.
These steps are fundamental. It’s simple…if children are tired or hungry they will be sleepy and irritable. Therefore, they won’t learn!

Get them excited about the school year.
Talk to them about the expectations and what they will learn that year. Make sure to attend the orientation sessions that schools offer so that they can meet their new teacher. This will greatly help to decrease any first day anxieties.

Show Them the Way.
If they are new to the school, your child should be acclimated to their new environment. Go with them on the first day, but DO NOT linger around too long as this will make separation more difficult for both of you.

Prepare the Teacher.
Let your child’s teacher know of any medical, behavioral, or emotional concerns. This is critically important is your son or daughter has allergies. In this case, there are special forms that would need to be completed to ensure your child’s safety.

Make certain they know their personal contact information.
Even before your son or daughter is old enough to ride the school bus, they should know their full name, address, and telephone number. Knowing this information could very well save their life if in unfortunate circumstances.

Be a role model.
It is not only important that you say how important education is, you must demonstrate it as well. Sit with your child and monitor them as they complete homework; ask pointed questions about their school day; attend parent/teacher conferences; volunteer to come in and read to the class or chaperone field trips; and last (but not least), pick up a book and read in their presence.

The truth is that the first day of school can be equally anxiety provoking for parents as it is for children. This is especially the case for the youngsters who have never been away from mommy or daddy. However, just remember that this is just a part of the developmental cycle, and that great things will come from it. Be prepared for the ups and the downs, but make certain to take many pictures, as they are sure to grow faster than you think!

Happy Parenting,

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