To have a successful school year, your child must be prepared in every sense of the word. This includes having necessary supplies, setting up routines, and reducing potential worries about the new year.
Get your child ready for the most successful school year ever with our back-to-school preparation tips!
Gather school supplies
Some teachers send students’ families lists of supplies needed for the approaching school year. Preparing for back-to-school means giving yourself plenty of time to shop for those items. Having all the required supplies before school starts can help your child feel confident and ready for class.
When shopping, let your child pick his own items, within reason. Unless specified by the teacher, allow him to select the color of each folder, choose notebooks displaying his favorite characters, and decide between crayons or colored pencils, for example. Having a say in the specifics about these items can help your child get excited about returning to the classroom.
Another component to have ready for the first day is summer assignments. If your child’s teacher assigned summer homework, make sure it is completed in a timely manner. For a child who needs assistance, set a schedule for when you will help him. Perhaps you can break up the assignments into 20-minute sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the work is finished. If he can confidently work independently, check in with him when he is done to make sure all work is completed accurately.
Create a routine
One part of the school mindset that gets lost in the blissful days of summer is having routines. As the days of summer dwindle, consider easing your child back into a sense of structure. This makes adjusting back to a school schedule a smooth transition.
Night routine – discuss with your child what time she will need to go to bed once school starts. In the last days of summer, you can still allow her to go to bed slightly later than the “school night” time while bringing the bedtime closer to the desired hour each day. Be sure to also review what the night routine entails, such as showering, brushing teeth, picking out the next day’s clothes, etc.
Morning routine – just like with the night routine, let your child know what time she needs to be awake in the morning. The wakeup time can be adjusted little by little as the first day of school approaches. Review what needs to be done each morning and the time she must leave for school. Knowing what is expected will help her feel prepared as she adjusts to a “getting ready for school” schedule.
Though it may take time for your child to adapt to a routine, having this structure in place will help her prepare for back to school.
For some children, going to school after summer break can be a source of anxiety. The nervousness may revolve around going to a new school or about entering a new grade with more challenging coursework than in previous years.
Another part of back-to-school preparation includes steps you can take to put your child at ease.
Visit the school – contact your child’s teacher or principal to arrange a day to stop by the school over the summer. Explain that your child is feeling anxious about returning to class. Seeing the classroom and possibly meeting with his teacher can reduce his worries or even transform those worries into excitement about the new year.
Read storybooks about school – read a heartwarming tale about a character’s experience at school to help calm your child’s nerves and spark joy about the new adventure ahead. Regardless of your child’s age, there are books geared towards all grade levels to address children’s back-to-school troubles.
Encourage your child to share thoughts – have your child lead a conversation with you where he can express his worries about school. Address his specific concerns and let him know that it is normal to feel nervous before entering a new grade but that you know he’ll do great. Then, have him tell you what he is looking forward to in the new school year. Changing his perspective to focus on the positive aspects – learning new topics, making new friends, etc. – can make him excited for the academic year.
Oftentimes, it is the fear of the unknown that will make your child anxious about school. Easing fears takes time and effort, but it is possible to raise a mentally strong child who can overcome anxiety by trying some of the steps listed above.
There is a good chance that once he returns home after his first day, the fears will have lessened or even vanished, and he will be happy to be in school. To help your child get into an excited mindset about school, download and print our Back-To-School Bingo activity.
Preparing your child for the new school year takes mutual effort from you and your child. If her supplies and assignments are ready for the first day, if night and morning routines are put into action, and if her worries are put to rest, she will be on track for a successful school year.
Aha! Parenting. “Preparing Your Child for the New School Year.” 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022. https://www.ahaparenting.com/read/Preparing-kids-child-New-School-Year
Scholastic. “8 Tips to Prepare for the First Days of School.” 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022. https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/school-life/back-to-school/8-tips-to-prepare-first-days-school.html
The School Run. “Helping Your Child Get Back Into a School Mindset.” 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022. https://www.theschoolrun.com/helping-your-child-get-back-school-mindset