Transitioning Into a School Year Routine

It’s that time of year again when parents everywhere are dealing with re-setting their child to get back in the school mindset. But before the learning begins, there are some basic routines that families can establish to make the transition as smooth as possible. Some of it rests with parents while kids themselves also have a role…so how is the work divided?

1. Parents have lots of to-do’s and they often come in the form of paperwork from the school – so get organized early. Be sure to review the material sent by the school as soon as it arrives.

  • It can include important information about your child’s teacher, room number, school supply requirements, dress code, sign ups for after-school sports and activities, school calendar dates, bus transportation and health and emergency forms.

2. Re-establish bedtime and meal routines one week before school starts. And make sure breakfast happens every day!

3. Shop early (and online) for school supplies…make a list and save receipts.

  • Choose a backpack with your child in mind – wide, padded straps and padded back. It shouldn’t weigh more than 10-20% of the child’s body weight when loaded up…if so, consider a rolling backpack.

4. Have necessary medical and emergency contact information updated and provide the info to other caregivers (carpoolers, playdates, after-school programs) in advance.

5. Designate a homework area and make it a “gadget-free” zone. No texting, web-surfing, etc.

6. Get important dates on calendar…back-to-school nights are important in setting the teacher-parent relationship off to a good start.

7. For younger children, see if the school offers early tours so that the child can visit their new school ahead of time and be familiar with the facilities….including bathrooms, which are a major “fear” issue for young children.

8. The first day is important so involve your child in planning so that they have a sense of control and independence. Organize supplies, clothing, lunch money and snacks the night before school to ensure a smoother start to the day.

9. Pack a lunch for the first few days until your child gets the hang of the lunchroom.

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