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  • Writer's pictureJonda Beattie

Back to School – Ready or Not

In a very short time children will be returning to the classrooms. Although most children will be excited about the upcoming year, switching from an easy-going summer schedule to earlier hours and changes in routines can be tough. Also, most children will have at least some concerns about working with a new teacher, a different set of peers, and a tougher curriculum.

Here are a few tips to help ease the strain:

1. Watch Your Attitude As parents you have a strong influence on how your child views the upcoming school year.

  1. Don’t express your doubts. If you say, “I hope you don’t have trouble with Ms. ______.” or “I know that 3rd grade is tougher,” you set up worry spots.

  2. Play up the positives. Say, “I’ll bet there will be a new child for you to befriend,” or “I understand there is a unit on dinosaurs this year!’ or “I’ve heard the school menu has really expanded.” Now you have your child looking forward to something positive.

2. Start Routine Changes Early

  1. Start getting up earlier the week before school starts

  2. Have a full breakfast at an earlier time

  3. Put together the new backpack and practice walking in the door with it and putting it in its assigned home

  4. Develop a new checklist for chores and morning routines

  5. Update the family calendar and post it – log in already known school events and deadlines

  6. Determine set times for homework, chores, packing lunches, packing up the backpack, and laying out clothes for the next day

3. Set Up a Study Zone

  1. Find a consistent location that works for your child

  2. Put together a basket or container of all items your child will need in order to complete assignments

  3. Set up a file for papers that are going to be kept during this semester or school year

4. Incorporate School Papers Into Your Communication Center

  1. Have a folder for each child to place papers that need action – such as a signature or an upcoming event that needs to be logged onto the calendar

  2. Add a contact folder for school contacts and special activities for this school year

5. Start a Back to School Tradition

  1. Have a cookout the weekend before the first day of school or take a trip to a favorite place to eat where the children can order what they want – talk about the joys and concerns of the upcoming school year

  2. Have a prize wrapped up for the children to open when they come home from school on day 1

Ready or not – the school year begins. Let this year be the best one yet!

Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer

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