Preparing your child for school

Bruce A. Novak
Superintendent, District 911

It seems like school just ended for the summer. Yet here it is August, and we are preparing for another year, getting ready to go back to school.

Parents often ask, “What can I do to help prepare my child for their first day of school?”

Here are a few ideas that might help:

Be positive. Your attitude has a direct affect on your child. If you are weepy or upset, it will cause them concern for you. If you are cheerful and upbeat, they will be excited.

Try to arrange a visit to your child’s school ahead of time. If possible, meet with your child’s teacher or visit the classroom. This will provide some familiarity for the first day.

Talk with your child about school. Have them share their view and expectations of what they think they will like and learn in this new experience.

Tell your child there will be many children attending school on this day. Encourage them to make new friends and help others; this will take the focus off their concerns.

Go to the public library for books about the first day of school. Read to your children and let them ask questions. Listen carefully and answer each question honestly.

Explain to your child it is okay to feel nervous and maybe a bit scared. This is a natural feeling, and other children are feeling this way, too.

The evening before school starts, ask your child to pick the outfit they would like to wear the first day. This will give them the feeling of independence and confidence.

Before bed, spend some time with your child. Read a book or play a favorite game. In casual conversation ask them to share concerns about the first day. Listen carefully and then answer truthfully in a positive and reassuring manner.

In the morning, help your child prepare and dress for school. Sit with them at breakfast and talk about the new and exciting things they will experience in class. Stay positive.

If possible, take your child to the bus stop, school or classroom on the first day. Let them know where you will be while they are at school. This will give them a sense of security and independence.

These are a few ideas to assist you in helping your child adjust to the new school routine. Have patience, be positive, and before you know it they will settle in and be looking forward to enjoying time with their friends and classmates.