As the first day of school approaches, parents and children alike begin to run the gamut of emotions: excitement, fear, anticipation, anxiety. For those who will be experiencing a child’s very first day of school, you may feel torn between the joy of leading your child through a momentous milestone and the sadness of knowing that your child is taking yet another step out from under your influence and protection. However, preparing your child for school can have the beneficial effects of soothing nerves and strengthening bonds. Here are a few ways to help you and your child transition easily into the next important step.
1. Make a big deal out of gathering school supplies.
Set aside time during the evening or weekend to focus on the needs of your student-to-be. If possible, arrange time alone to dig together through items you already have or to make a trip to a local store for a little back-to-school shopping.
2. Celebrate the last hurrah of summer.
Choose your favorite summer activity and make a point to say goodbye until next summer. Take some pictures of your child in front of a recognizable object, such as a tree in the front yard or the swing set in the back yard for an opportunity to see the dramatic progress and growth from summer to summer.
3. Get into the academic mindset with an inspirational movie about life in school.
There are flicks from every stage of learning. Talk about what you see in the movie that relates to students, teachers, homework, and school spirit.
4. Begin a few weeks early to adopt the routine of a school day.
Help children get back into the habit of early wake-up and early bedtime. Add some more structure to the day by assigning an activity/reading time. Everyone grabs some type of reading material or workbook and works quietly on their own.
5. Give your child a proper sendoff.
Whether it is a favorite activity, a party with family and friends, or a special dinner, let your child know how special each new stage of education is and how proud you are of his accomplishments.
The start of the school year is a time to start fresh. Children wipe the slate clean of the previous year and begin anew. Communicate your expectations and offer your complete support as your child prepares to embark on her next great learning adventure.
What traditions do you have for preparing your child for going back to school? Share your comments below.
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