Where did this summer go? In just a few short weeks, kids will be heading back to school. With that new season comes a whole new set of challenges for parents.
From after-school sports to early-morning wake-up calls, life is about to get hectic.
Here are some of our favorite tips to prepare for the busy time ahead:
The first day of school is always challenging – but it’s a lot easier if you prepare in advance.
- Ease into the new schedule. After months of summer relaxation, the kids likely aren’t used to a strict routine anymore. Start waking them up a little earlier every day (and getting them to bed a little earlier at night) to prepare them for the upcoming change.
- Create a calendar. From school functions to music lessons to sports, each school year is jam-packed with meetings and activities. Make sure you don’t miss out on Back To School Night or the first day of baseball practice by putting them on the calendar now.
- Go shopping. Most schools will mail out a supply list or post one on their website, but even if they don’t, there are a few basics you know you’re going to need. Grab all the essentials now so you’re not left scrambling at the last minute. Must haves typically include: #2 pencils, a pencil case, pencil sharpener, index cards, and at least one notebook and one 3-ring binder.
Prepare for Change
The start of the year can always be frightening, but especially for children who are starting a new school. Whether you moved to a different neighborhood, or they just bumped up a grade, new schools mean new friends, new schedules, and new teachers.
Here are some things you can do to help them prepare:
- Be an ally. Speak to your child about how they’re feeling and what concerns they have. Help them work through their nerves by talking it out.
- Be prepared. Find out early where the new bus stop is. Know when school starts and ends, and what the procedure is for early dismissal days. Find out what extracurriculars will be available in the fall and sign up now if possible. Knowing what to expect can make a world of difference!
- Find friends now. One of the hardest parts of starting a new school is having to make all new friends. By joining summer sports teams or camps, or hanging out at local parks and playgrounds, you give your child the opportunity to meet some friendly faces before the big day comes.
Find the Right School
If you’ve recently moved or your child is just entering kindergarten, you may be wondering how to find the right school.
If they are entering public school, you should contact the local school board as soon as possible. They will tell you where to go to register and what documents are needed. Typically, your child will be assigned to whatever school is closest to your home.
If they are entering a private school, there is a lot more to consider. When researching schools, you should consider:
- Your child’s learning style (Do they like to learn alone or in groups? Do they do better with a strict schedule? Do they prefer hands-on learning? Etc.)
- Any special needs (Does your child have ADHD? Are they dyslexic? Do they have physical limitations?)
- The location of the school (How far are you willing to travel from home? Is your child ok with taking a bus?)
Once you have a list of criteria, you can research schools within your area and narrow down the options.
Through planning and organization, you can ensure a smooth start to the school year. Can you think of anything we didn’t cover in our article? How are you preparing for the year ahead?