Back to School Parenting Tips – covering everything from buying school supplies to the beginning of the school year to getting back into the routine.
Now that August has ended, a funny feeling has started to creep into my days. It is a sadness that the endless hours of summer fun are coming to a close, but it is also an eager anticipation for a new adventure. The beginning of the school year can be an exciting time for teachers, parents, and kids. Below are some back to school parenting tips covering everything from buying school supplies to getting back into the routine.
Back to School Parenting Tips
1.) Why do you need so many pencils?
I often hear parents complaining about the number of pencils and other supplies that teachers ask parents to buy. These supplies can be very expensive for parents and hard to find. We’ve all spent hours searching for that elusive orange two pocket folder. Many states have cut funding to schools and with those cuts come basic supplies like tissues, paper towels, and pencils.
It may surprise you to know that by November many of my students do not have a single pencil left after their parents sent in 48 in September. Where these pencils go, is a mystery to me. Encourage your kids to keep their materials organized at school and at home. You can do this by checking their backpacks each day. Ask if they need refills on supplies or if they have lost anything important like scissors or rulers. You would be surprised at how disorganized they can be. As far as that orange folder is concerned, do your best to stick to the list given. If you cannot find something specific, then get the closest thing possible. Many teachers like students to have the same colors so that the kids can find their materials easier.
2.) Get into school mode.
I don’t like to do this too early, but about a week before school begins, I start sending my kids to bed earlier. In the mornings, we get up and get ready right away just to get them back into a routine. Kids need a few days to reset their sleep patterns. As much as I enjoy getting in my last few late summer nights, I don’t want my kids groggy on their first day. Getting into a school routine can help make the transition a little easier.
3.) Be a good listener.
Talk to your kids about how they are feeling as school approaches. Starting a new year can be scary and cause anxiety. Remind them that all of the kids and teachers are feeling nervous.
If your child doesn’t have any friends in his class, reassure him that he will make new friends. Try to avoid asking for placement changes based on whether or not your child has friends in the class. Many kids find unexpected friendships when they are not in their comfort zone. They need to learn how to adapt when their friends are not there.
The same goes for your child’s teacher. Try not to listen to every other mom’s opinion about the teachers. Each child is different and you cannot compare your child’s experience with others. Some of my kids’ favorite teachers have been ones that some of my friends did not like.
The most important thing you can do to help ease the first-day anxiety is to listen to your child and validate her feelings. Reassure her that she can do this!
4.) Add a little more responsibility.
Each year I try to add more responsibility to my kids’ schedules. In first grade, they had to make their beds in the morning. Then in second grade, I had them pack their own snack bags. In fourth grade, they began making their own lunches.
September is a great time to re-evaluate your kids’ responsibilities as far as getting themselves ready for school. For visual learners, make a chart showing what is expected each morning. For example, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, pack backpack. Then each September, add another task to the bottom of the list. Giving your child the responsibility to get himself ready teaches him to be independent. Try not to worry if he forgets his snack one day. Being hungry at snack time will ensure that he won’t forget the next time.
Using these tips will help get your child and you ready for the first day. Being prepared can help ease anxiety and make the big day go smoothly for everyone.
Happy first day!
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