Summer is winding down and we are all beginning to look forward to the start of school. To prepare your child, and the whole family, for the start of school, make sure you do the following five things:
#1 Start the School Schedule Early
It’s a mistake to wait until the night before the first day of school to change bedtime schedules and routines. Begin observing a school schedule seven to ten days before school starts. Have your children go to bed earlier, set their alarms, and get up. Also, have them eat breakfast and be dressed by the time they will be leaving for school. Serve lunch and dinner observing the school schedule for those meals, also. Then have them go to bed a bit earlier each night until they are used to the school bedtime schedule.
#2 Prepare Their At-home Study Area
During the summer, spaces usually used for studying during the school are either neglected or used for non-school activities. Now is the time to clean up that desk, check the lighting, and organize your child’s study area. Even a preschooler needs a designated area for coloring and reading. If you start early in your child’s educational journey having an at-home study area, they will carry this excellent habit throughout their educational life.
#3 Purchase School Supplies
Most schools provide parents a supply list applicable to the grade and class. Obtain this list and make the necessary purchases before school starts. If a list is not available, purchase only the necessities and wait until you can confirm what your child actually requires. Some teachers are very specific and with good reason; very young children with permanent markers are a disaster waiting to happen. Regardless of grade, your child will probably need only a pencil and paper the first day. For a high school student, the following list should provide everything they need.
#4 Prepare the School Wardrobe
Many schools have dress codes outlining what children can wear. Review the list before making purchases.
Clean out closets and drawers, pairing outfits suitable for school and putting them separate from other clothes. Make a list of what your child needs. You may wish to wait for some items as we have all had the experience of our child coming home the first day saying, “No one is wearing this,” or “Everybody else has . . .”
#5 Visit the School and Arrange for Transportation
If your school has an open house, make sure you attend it with your child. You will have an opportunity to tour the school and meet your child’s teacher. If there is not an open house, call the school and see if you can arrange a tour. This is especially important if your child is attending a new school because you have moved or your child is changing to a grade level on a new campus.