As summer comes to an end — whether filled with vacations or the scrambling of keeping kids entertained while parents are working — school is just around the corner.
Milestones are made as students enter a new grade or school for the very first time. While these milestones can bring a disarrayment of new emotions, the actual act of sending kids to school can be smooth.
Here are some tips to help get your kids ready as they head to school.
The most essential things your kids need are a backpack, lunchbox, pens, pencils and notebooks.
While it’s easy to stock up on anything and everything, it may be best to wait until after your child has gone to a few classes to see what additional supplies they’ll need. Or, check with their teacher ahead of time.
Additional items may include markers, binders, folders, a ruler, a pencil case, glue sticks, erasers, highlighters, scissors and index cards. Some of these items may be provided by the school.
Other good things to stock your child’s backpack with are tissues, hand sanitizer, a water bottle, a change of clothes and, of course, additional snacks.
Students may also appreciate having a special item in their backpack, like their favourite stuffed animal.
Health and Safety
Along with contacting your pediatrician to ensure your child is up-to-date on vaccinations and eye exams, it’s also a good idea to put together a contact list that includes teachers and other parents.
You’ll also want to ensure your kids know how to safely ride the bus, walk to school with a friend and find safe adults they can talk to (which may include a school guidance counsellor, teacher or another family member).
Touring your child’s school with them beforehand is also a great way to make sure your child feels comfortable, safe and prepared for their first day.
Even for those in the older grades, school and implementing a daily routine can be a big adjustment. Thankfully, routines create structure and familiarity that can help with any anxiety your child may be dealing with as they approach their big day.
Start your routine a few weeks before school commences so that everyone feels prepared the day of.
Routines include school prep the night prior (picking out an outfit and packing a lunch), a consistent bedtime and wake-up time and setting expectations for easy, stress-free, healthy breakfasts.
Perhaps this includes meal planning. On those accidental sleep-in mornings, you’ll already know what needs to be made or packed.