BACK TO SCHOOL! Are Your Elementary Kids Ready?
Submitted by Shelly Gilmore, CDE Supervisor, Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County
Back to School brings a lot of mixed emotions for children. Sadly, the sleepy mornings and lack of schedules are coming to an end, but the excitement of a new year awaits! There are a lot of ways parents can prepare children for the new year besides buying notebooks, bright shiny new shoes and school clothes. Here are 5 ways parents can assure their child has a smooth transition.
- Work with your child to create a morning checklist
The checklist can be posted on the refrigerator or in their room. Items on the checklist can be simple such as getting dressed, making the bed, brushing their teeth, feeding the dog, finding their bookbag, etc. Children can check items off each morning as completed.
- Schedule a time and place to complete homework
Head off daily battles by making homework part of your child’s daily routine. Be sure to make yourself available during this time in case there are questions or assistance is needed. Provide input from your child and decide together when and where homework time should occur.
- Make a sick day back up plan
For working parents, parents attending training, etc., a good idea is not to wait for the morning the sickness strikes to panic that you do not have anywhere for your child to go. Since calling off from work is not always an option, a back up plan will assist you in getting to where you need to be on time.
- Engage in regular conversations with your child
My favorite place to do this is in the car when they can’t run away or their friends are not around. Provide children with opportunities to tell you about their day and practice active listening. If children are having issues at school with other kids or they are worried about something this is the time to listen closely and provide suggestions on how to handle situations appropriately.
- Touch base with the teacher periodically
Let your child know that school is a family affair and you will be talking with the teachers regularly to check on progress and if there are any concerns. Email is a great way to communicate since life is hectic and everyone is busy. It’s important to have the beginning of the year discussion and to ask the teacher what method of communication would work well for them.