Pencils, paper, backpack, markers – what more do children need for a successful start to school? Hint: it can’t be purchased at the store. More than anything, children need predictability, routines, and support during times of transition. Changing schools, having a new teacher, dealing with learning challenges, worry about making friends, or even slight changes in routine can trigger anxiety for students of all ages.
School-related anxiety may be an underlying cause for many attendance issues and behaviors, which get in the way of academic success.
Here are some tips for creating a smooth transition back to school for your child:
During the Summer
Call the school office to request a time for your child to find and set up their locker and walk through their class schedule before the first day.
Attend all orientation and scheduled kick-off events – with your child when possible
Complete paperwork and enrollment forms and mail/drop off in advance
Start the back-to-school routine a week in advance – help them get to bed on time, lay out clothes the night before, set an alarm clock, and have breakfast before starting the day
Point out the bus stop and the school any time you pass it (or on a map if needed)
The Night Before the First Day (and every day)
Together, pack your child’s backpack and/or lunch so they're ready to go
Talk with them about what they’re excited about and what they’re nervous about; let them know how important their happiness and hard work in school are to you
Lay out school clothes before bedtime
Get them to bed at a consistent time each evening and set their alarm clock
It's Here - the 1st Day! Reminders for you can share with your child:
Wake up on time
Eat a healthy breakfast
Remember your backpack and lunch or lunch money
Smile & have a positive attitude
Ask for help if you need it
Remember: Everyone gets a little nervous about the 1st day of school, even teachers!
We all benefit from friendly reminders. Download and print this helpful Morning Checklist for your child to see each day before they head out the door to school.