The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. ~ Sydney J. Harris
A smooth transition from summer vacation to back to school is most parent's dream. It may been much more relaxed over the summer months without routine wake up times, chores, or studies. It may take a lot of coaxing and a little practice to get your children prepared for back to school.
The National Association of School Psychologists has a few suggestions for an easier back to school transition. The NASP suggest that for young children and children entering their first year of middle school or high school to take them to the school for a tour. Knowing what to expect and where everything is located is important, like the bathrooms and lunch rooms, and will help your child lower their anxiety about what is unknown. It is suggested to take your child to the new school year orientation to meet their teachers and get a feel for what to expect. It is advisable to drive the school bus route with your child as well. They may feel lost if they have to take different streets on the bus than you would normally take in your own vehicle. This will put their mind at ease knowing that it is simply a different route.
Ensure each student has adequate supplies to start the school year off right. Make sure to visit Fayette Count Public Schools to access an up-to-date supply list, if available. You can also browse the site to get information about upcoming events and what to expect if there are weather delays or notifications. Which leads to another important aspect of back to school success, prepare for the unexpected. Make a plan with your child or children in the case of an emergency. Use safe words or some other plan if someone new has to pick them up. Also know what your school policy is about individuals other than parent/guardians need to pick up. Schools have very strict policies about pick up for the safety of each student, know them and make adjustments if needed. If there is a natural disaster help your child stay safe by explaining exactly what they should do and what you will do.
Starting the day off right is easy with a little preparation. Children should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. Some children benefit from beginning the routine before school actually starts to get use to waking up earlier in the morning and going to bed earlier at night. Also prepare as much the night before as you can; have backpacks ready by the door, lunches prepared and packed in the refrigerator, and any sports or extracurricular equipment already in the car. This will relieve the stress of being rushed or forgetting must have items.
Preparation is the key to starting a successful new school year. Understand that your child may need to go over the new routine several times to change their summer habits. Talk about what to expect with your child and answer any questions they may have about the school, times and places of pick up, or when and where they should do their homework.