How to Survive Your Child's First Day Back-to-School

It's that time of year again, summer vacations are wrapping up and classes are beginning. Although adjusting from a laid back summer to a strictly structured fall semester can be challenging it can also be rewarding. Starting the school year off right can effect children's performance on both an academic and social level. Doing your part to ease the transition for your kids can also benefit you as their parent. Your day can go more smoothly when your kids are prepared for the changes the school year brings to your family's schedule. Here are some ideas to make that first week back to school an easy and successful experience for both parent and child.

Be Available.

Clear your own schedule for that first transitional week of school. Delay meetings, extra projects and business trips so that you are not so overwhelmed during this week. You will want to focus on your kids during this week and be very available for them. You are critical to your child's adjustment to the school routines and the confusion or anxieties that may come with it. Be willing to listen to their worries and their concerns and help them to feel comfortable with the changes.

Make lunches ahead of time.

There is no reason to add more stress to your already hectic school day mornings by scrambling to create a homemade lunch before your kids have to leave. Try making them the night before. This way you can fill it up with nutritious and tooth-friendly food options. This will also impress your South Loop dentist when you come in for your school year checkup.

Wake them up.

Have your kids set their own alarm clocks a good hour or so before they need to leave for school. You should make sure that your child wakes up with plenty of time to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their teeth and get to school. Encourage them and praise them for getting up early and being ready on time. If your child takes the bus to school, pin a card to their backpack with your contact information and their teacher's name on it.

Create an after-school plan.

When your child comes home from school help them get started with their homework right away. Sit down with them until they form a regular study habit. Express your excitement for the content they are learning. Because some things can take a long time to grasp, however, help your child to be patient with themselves. Reassure them of their capacity to excel in their classes. If you happen to not be home when they gets back from school make sure they know what to do. Teach them specific rules regarding home safety. Have a note card in their backpack with the contact information of neighbors that are home during the day as well as your cell phone number. Talk to your neighbors about look out for your kids after school and have your children meet those neighbors beforehand.

Get to know their teachers.

Go to the back-to-school nights and meet your child's teacher before school starts. Let the teachers know upfront what your academic goals are for your child and what you are expecting from them as the teacher. Then ask the teacher what you can do to help them with your child. Openly express your desire to communicate with the teacher regular concerning your child's behavior and learning abilities. Discuss how you want to contact each other whether it's through email, notes, phone calls, etc. Your child will have a much better learning experience if you and their teacher can work together as a partnership. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the other members of your child's school system. Learn what their responsibilities are and how you can get in touch with them for any reason. Some of these school professionals include principals, front office staff, counselors, social workers, school psychologist, reading specialist, speech therapist, after-school coordinators and the school nurse.

There is a lot to do the first week back to school. But if you keep yourself free to help your kids with the new adjustments then you and your kids should find the rest of the school year much more enjoyable. Also remember to make things easier on yourself by keeping in good contact with your child's teachers and other school staff during the semester. Begin this school year with a sigh of relief as quiet time is once again restored to your otherwise chaotic home.

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