for Back to School
By Kayla Fay
Back to school. Whether you approach this time of year with
anticipation or dread, it's about to happen. New teachers and classes, different
rules and expectations, leave children and parents overwhelmed with excitement
and anxiety. Below are six ways to send your child back to school with success.
SUPPLIES - Most schools provide a list of essentials for each
child to bring on the first day of class. Make sure your child has exactly what
is requested, and save enough cash for those supply needs that crop up the first
week of class. Stock up on all types of paper, writing utensils, art supplies,
notebooks and folders during the back to school sales. Gather an assortment of
calculators and reference books. There is nothing that gives confidence like the
satisfaction of having just the right tool for the job. (Email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org for the comprehensive list of supplies we keep on hand at
COMMUNICATION - While summer is still in session, visit the
school and meet the secretary and principal. Limit yourself to brief
introductions, but offer your support to help make a great school year. Leave
your name, telephone and email so the school can contact you if they need help.
The first week of school, write the teacher a letter introducing your child, and
briefly listing strengths and weaknesses. Share important information such as
family situation and medical needs. Finally, tell the teacher you would like to
meet during the second month of school to strategize ways to work together for
your child's education.
HABITS - Children usually crave routine. A couple of weeks
before school, transition children to the schedule they will follow once the
year begins. Send them to bed and have them get up earlier. Adjust mealtimes.
Once school begins, quickly establish routines for homework and chores. Make it
a habit to prepare the next day's clothes, lunches, and school gear each
ORIENTATION - Familiarize your child with the all the places she
will be during the school day. Follow the bus or car pool route. Arrange a visit
to the school before the first day. Practice the route into the building. Find
the bathrooms, the library, and the lunchroom. If your child is in middle or
high school, let them walk their schedule until they feel comfortable. See if
there are volunteer opportunities that will help your teen to feel more at home
in the maze of corridors that line most campuses.
ORGANIZATION - Buy into the adage "a place for everything, and
everything in its place". A two drawer file cabinet works well as a center to
organize a child's school/home communication, backpacks, shoes, and homework.
Each afternoon, school gear and shoes go in. Before bed, add clothes, bookbag,
notes and homework for the next day. In the morning, everything is in one spot,
and makes it easier for the child to get dressed and ready.
LOVE - Insensitive classmates, missed buses, forgotten homework
and misunderstood math can make school a traumatic place. Shield your child by
expressing your love over and over again. Tell her you love her. Give him a hug.
Hide a love note or symbol in an Algebra book. Offer your time, your
understanding, and your prayers. With the teacher as your partner, wrapping your
children in love is the best way to spell a successful beginning to the school