Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to School Tips for a Smooth Start

Some kids are starting school this week; others have been back for a while. After a summer of less structure, getting back into school mode can be a challenge. Here are a few tips for getting off to a good start.

School Clothes
Inventory your child’s school clothes and discard/recycle mismatched socks, clothes that don’t fit, clothes your child doesn't like. Getting these things out of the way will streamline getting dressed for school

Evening Routine
  • Consider setting out school clothes the night before. This greatly helps the morning preparations.
  • If possible, make lunches the night before. Getting your child’s input can really help. If  he is able, let him make his own.
  • Have your child pack her backpack, supervising as needed. Your teacher will really appreciate it J

Morning Routine
  • Brainstorm with your child what needs to be done before he goes out the door in the morning. Things like getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth…
  • Write it down! In the morning, if your child needs reminders, all you need to do is have her check her routine card.
  • Build in a reward. Checklist completed? Brainstorm what can happen (watch TV, get points towards a reward, computer time…)

Launching Pad
Establish a place near the front door to collect all that needs to go out the door. Things like backpacks, lunch, shoes, jackets – whatever you don’t want to have to search the house for.

  • Set up a routine. This is a very individual thing. A routine is best if your child has input.
  • Consider when your child is freshest and most motivated. Right after school? After dinner? For some kids, the morning is a good time. It’s risky, of course, but it’s something to consider.
  • If possible, establish a dedicated homework area. This will need to reflect your child’s work style. Some kids do just fine in their rooms, others need to be where you can monitor their on-task behavior.
  • There will be a post soon, devoted just to homework.

Establish a place to keep all school information.
  • Your child’s teacher(s) and contact information
  • Your child’s schedule
  • The school calendar
  • Documents such as report cards, behavior plan, Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), immunizations, any document you think you may want to refer to through the year

These tips have come from 3 sources. Please check out them out for more ideas.

Here are 4 more sites that have resources you may find helpful.
Reading Rockets Top 10 Resources on Back to School for Parents
School Family Print & Use Tools: Checklists, Calendars, Charts, & Labels   Provides safety tips.
Parent Further Provides back to school tips for elementary age kids. Scroll down for preschool, kindergarten, middle school and high school tips.

I hope you have a great start to the new school year. Please share any tips you have found that works for you and your family!

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