Start the School Year off Right! 

Whether this is your first year sending a child off to school or you’re an old pro, it’s always helpful to learn how others are handling the shift from laid back summer days to regimented school schedules. Read on for the tips and tricks of parents and teachers that help get their kids and students off to a good start. 

From parents 

My best piece of advice is to begin talking about what the transition to the school year will look like long before the first day of school. I want to calm my children’s nerves, as well as my own, as much as possible, so we talk about the changes that will take place in August all summer long. We talk about things like riding the bus, making new friends, having a new teacher, and other situations they might find themselves in within a new environment. I want to take the worry out of the unknown for them, so they can begin a new year with confidence and excitement. – Andrea, mom of two  

In our house, nightly preparation makes for efficient school mornings. For instance, we always make sure to lay out our clothes the night before, backpacks are emptied and hung on the same hooks every night, and shoes are placed near the dining room table to make it simple for our kids to put them on before breakfast. And one of our favorite “night before” breakfast preps includes making a maple oatmeal crockpot recipe that is perfect for cooler fall mornings.  – Lauren, mom of three  

This is a tip I learned from another mom who had a young child like mine who tends to get a little anxious about the start of a new school year. Find a small smooth stone your child can keep in their pocket – anytime he or she feels upset about something, they can rub their worry into the stone. At the end of the day, have them wash all the day’s worries away by rinsing their stone in the sink. This can give kids a concrete way to handle an intangible idea like anxiety. –Susanne, mom of two 

We keep the first few weekends after school starts fairly clear to allow for rest and family time. I try to  give myself and the kids an extra measure of  grace as big emotions spill out while  we adjust to new teachers, new schedules and the end  of summer. We  celebrate the first days back to school  with little things like a special dinner or  lemonade and  ice cream sandwiches at the bus stop or a fun family adventure after the first week is over. –Heather, mom of five 

From teachers 

I encourage parents to be open minded about teachers and student peers at the start of a new school year. Let the year unfold without preconceived judgement based on the comments of other parents or past experiences. Hope for the best, and it may turn out to be a magical year for your child! -Emily, Elementary Teacher  

Get to know your child’s teacher and be prepared to work together with them. Establish a positive relationship with your child’s teacher and stay actively involved in your child’s school year. This will give your child increased motivation for learning, better behavior, and an overall better attitude toward school. You and your child’s teacher are on the same team!  -Erica, Pre K Director and Teacher  

Establish a schedule a week before school starts, such as morning and bedtime routines and expectations. Practice reading, sight words and math facts in a designated area where the child will do their homework. Discuss what your child can expect on the first few days so they feel prepared and confident. Have your student practice their student number or ID. Get a good night’s sleep the night before school and remember to bring candy for the teacher – chocolate is always a favorite!      -Krissy, First Grade Teacher  

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