Text by Helen Lepp Friesen
With the changing of the leaves comes the new school year. Here are some things to consider as you prepare for the new school year.
Ensure that your child is registered and that you have provided the school with emergency contact information.
If your child is going to a new school, make sure you meet the teacher and principal before school starts. Take a tour of the school. Familiarize your child with his or her classroom and the location of the bathroom. If possible, meet a child or two that will be in your child’s classroom. Talk with your child about how he or she feels about going to school. Process any fears or anxiety. Let your child know that you welcome his/her thoughts and don’t belittle the fears.
Prepare for the new school routine by getting the kids to bed early a week before school starts and up at the right time.
Choose an outfit the night before and have the child’s back pack and lunch packed. That prevents the frantic morning rush. Both child and parent will have a better day if you start it calmly with plenty of time for breakfast and casual conversation.
If your child is going to ride the bus for the first time, go over bus safety guidelines. Find out the bus route and drive it. Ride the bus with your child the first time. When your child does ride the bus for the first time alone, be there to meet your child at the school to make sure everything went okay. Establish where your child should go in case of an emergency, should you not be there to meet him/her.
Get school supplies early, preferably in the summer when no one else is shopping for them. If you wait until the last minute you’ll join the other frazzled parents in the picked over school supply aisles not finding what you need and making numerous trips to piece together the list.
Paying attention to preparation details in advance can make getting ready for school an enjoyable transition from summer to autumn schedules.