Preparing Your Child for Back to School

Preparing Your Child for Back to School



Summer is almost over and that means it’s time for the kids to go BACK-TO-SCHOOL! This phrase triggers excitement in some children and dread in others. For all parents, it signals the start of an important process – getting your children physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to face the rigors and uncertainty of the school year.

With a little planning, patience, and scheduling, you can relieve a lot of back-to-school anxiety. Getting organized helps to keep last minute headaches to a minimum and increases your child’s likelihood of a successful adjustment and a successful school year.

Here are some practical things you can start doing today and continue into the school year to make the transition back to school a smooth one:

  1. Along with your child, make a list of all the items your child will need to be prepared for school. Allow your child some choice, if appropriate. For example, your child may be able to pick his/her own backpack and lunch bag.
  2. Leading up to the first day of school, re-establish structure and routines by implementing earlier bedtimes and wake up times and limiting television and video games.
  3. If your child is nervous or anxious about the first day of school, contact the school to arrange a tour.
  4. Contact other parents to arrange carpools for school drop-offs and pickups as well as after school activities.
  5. Make sure your child is physically prepared for school: annual physicals, vision, and hearing exams are key elements in making sure your child is prepared to learn.
  6. Have your child select outfits for the first week of school. Knowing what she is wearing helps her start off each morning on a calm, predictable note.
  7. Pack backpacks and lunches the night before. Establishing a nighttime routine where your child packs his backpack every night before he goes to bed can be very helpful and ensures that he won’t have to rush in the morning trying to locate stray items.
  8. Encourage your child to share stories from their day and review any parent-teacher communication from the day to avoid last minute scrambling.
  9. If your child receives homework, decide where and when she will complete the homework (preferably a place with limited distractions).
  10. Get to know your child’s classmates, friends, and their parents.
  11. Always be sure to reward and encourage a positive effort and attitude.
  12. Encourage ongoing learning by promoting extra-curricular reading and the pursuit of interests outside the classroom.



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