It’s hard to believe that the school year 2021-2022 is ready to begin. Some of our local schools start as early as Wednesday, the 18th. I decided to gather some information that may be helpful to some of you. The things I found are not arranged by ages, just some things that I thought were truly useful in helping parents prepare their kids for the new school year. First of all, I found this prayer and afterthought was really good;
A Prayer for Going Back-To-School
When nerves get anxious, calm them
When frustrations flair, bring peace.
When schedules get too busy, interrupt them.
When the load gets heavy, be our strength.
Help our students and our teachers remember it’s not the score on a test that equates with success. It’s the love they put into action that will change this world. Equip them. Protect them. Guard their hearts and minds each day. Be with us all as we begin this new chapter and head back to school. www.mommys15minutes.com
Now on with some tips and suggestions for parents to help children get ready for a new school year from rockymoutainhospitalfor children.com:
Battle the butterflies head-on
It’s not uncommon for some youngsters to feel nervous, anxious or worried about the first day of school. As a parent, there are ways you can aid your child in combating these first-day butterflies:
Give your kid time to adjust — It may take your child a few days or weeks to get comfortable with going to school.
Emphasize the positives — Remind your kid about the fun parts of school, like seeing/making new friends, buying cool school supplies and participating in activities like arts, sports or music.
Talk about the first day of school — Have a conversation and address your child’s fears and feelings about school. Are they worried they won’t make new friends? Are they nervous about homework and having to study more? Offering guidance and support can help children feel more at ease about going back to school. Make a back-to-school checklist
A few weeks before school starts, sit down and make a back-to-school checklist for each school-age child. Here are some things parents should find out before their kid starts a new school year:
Does the school have a dress code? Are there clothing items students can’t wear?
Will your child need a change of clothes for PE or art class?
Do your kids have the right backpack for school?
Will your kids buy lunch at school or bring a packed lunch from home?
Do you have a lunch meal plan for school days?
How will your child pay for lunch at school?
Do you have all the necessary school supplies for each child?
Most schools or classrooms provide a list of the supplies kids need for their grade level.
Prepare for medical issues or accidents that might happen at school.
School-age children attend school for seven or eight hours a day, so it’s important that teachers, counselors and school staff are aware of any medical issues your child might have. Make sure the school nurse and teachers are informed about your child’s medical conditions (particularly food allergies, asthma, and diabetes) and any medications they might be taking.
Other medical must-dos for parents at the start of the school year:
Make sure your child is up-to-date on all immunizations requirements
Complete and submit all health forms the school has sent home, including making sure your emergency contact information is accurate
Inform your child’s teacher of any developmental/learning disabilities your child is dealing with, such as ADHD. If your child has vision or hearing problems, make sure they sit in the front of the classroom or near the board.
Take advantage of after-school activities for kids.
For working parents, figuring out what your children will do after school can be a challenge. Parents might need to make childcare arrangements or find after-school programs for kids. There are many benefits to having your kid get involved in after-school activities. These programs:
Offer an alternative to watching TV or playing video games all afternoon
Provides kids with adult supervision while parents are still at work
Encourages your child to discover and nurture their interests and talents
Helps kids make new friends and develop social skills
Gives kids a sense of belonging and helps them stay out of trouble
Don’t forget to make homework a priority
Many kids groan at the thought of homework, but there are ways parents can make homework time more productive and less headache-inducing for the whole family:
Establish a designated place to do homework in your house — Make sure this place is quiet and free from all distractions. Don’t let kids do homework while texting, watching TV, browsing the internet, using social media or talking on the phone.
Never do your child’s homework for them — During homework time, a parent’s role is to offer guidance and support. Kids need to learn how to work through problems and solve things on their own.
Help kids develop good study habits — Encourage your child to take notes, write down assignments, ask the teacher if they don’t know something and turn in assignments on time.
Going back to school can be exciting for some kids and worrisome for others. Either way, talk to your child about the first day of school, what they can expect and how they feel about the new school year. Parents don’t have to have all the answers. There are many ways to show your kid that you care and help them make a positive and successful back-to-school transition.
I also found another good set of ideas from: hopkinsmedicine.org
Establish strong routines at home.
Routines help children learn, make them feel safe and in control of their world, and foster their self-confidence and sense of belonging within the family. Some key family routines that will help children feel ready:
Bedtime routines ensure kids get a good night’s sleep and will be ready for the next day’s adventures. Some important parts of a bedtime routine include a consistent bedtime and a predictable order of activities (e.g., take a bath, put on pajamas, brush teeth, read a favorite story or sing a favorite song, get a goodnight hug or kiss from their caregiver).
Parents are encouraged to read with their children for at least 20 minutes a day to build language and literacy skills. This reading routine can be part of the bedtime routine or at another time convenient for you and your child. A good way to make this time child-centered (and increase your child’s enjoyment and engagement in this time together) is by letting your child pick out the book.
Family Mealtime Routines
Having a family mealtime routine is not only an opportunity to teach your children about healthy eating habits, but is also a chance to spend quality time talking with your children, which builds their language and strengthens their relationship with you. You can also build in routines around mealtime that will be useful to your children in school, such as washing your hands before dinner or teaching them how to clear dishes from the table.
Ideally, talking with your child about school should be part of your family’s daily routine. Talking with your children not only gives you an opportunity to learn what they are doing in school and how they feel about school, but also provides an opportunity for you to communicate that school is important.
— But getting conversations started with your young child about school is not always easy, as some children provide very little detail in response to the question, “How was school today?”
So here are a few other ways that you can get the conversation started with your children about school:
Ask your children to tell you one new thing they did or learned about in school that day.
Ask your children to tell you one thing they liked and one thing that was difficult about school that day.
Ask your children about who they played with in school and what games they played or things they did.
Create a family routine around talking about your day. For example, during mealtime or another time when you are spending time with your children, you can model how to talk about your day by sharing one or two things that you did that day and then asking your children to share one or two things about their day.
God Bless you all as your children prepare for a new school year and have a good week.
Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to be kind and love each other and continue to set a good example for our children. See you next week with new ideas and ways to help your children or ideas that may help you as you raise your children in some way.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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