Are you the proud parents of a kindergartner or elementary student?
Time away from parents can be especially hard even if children have been away from their parents for a long period of time. A school is a new place, with new people, kids they do not know, they are just little tiny people in a big crowd. Children get scared and overwhelmed quite quickly, however, if you follow some of these helpful tips will help those first-day jitters!
Visit the school and attend open house – Open house is the perfect chance for your child to meet their new teacher and it also can give you a feel of what he/she is like. It also gives them the opportunity to find their room, desk, where will they hang their coats and backpacks etc. A few important things to think of when attending your open house are: Are there aides and teachers who help students if they get lost? Will they make sure they get on the right bus? Is everyone friendly? These are extremely helpful to ask the teacher or just your first impression of the school.
If your school doesn’t have an open house, or you just moved into a new district schedule a meeting with the principal for a walkthrough. Meeting with the principal they will be willing to answer any questions you may have and discuss concerns you have with your child.
Meet with teachers and other important people – This one kind of goes with attending open house and/or visiting the school. Meeting with your child’s teachers can give you a chance to inform them about any medication they may take, food allergies etc. As the first-week paperwork comes in these things are important to discuss prior to school to make the teacher and those who help assist alert on anything that may hinder your child’s learning.
Be excited for them – Heading back to school can be a real tough experience for older children and especially for those who haven’t attended school yet this is your chance to show your excitement. If you get them excited they will start to feel it; explain that school is important because we must learn new things and meet new friends. Don’t forget to let them know they will have lots of fun and learn about new places they’ve never been to before.
Eat breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it gets your brain started and having a filling breakfast helps you concentrate more on your work and not worrying about when’s lunch. Younger children especially do a lot of running around and playing so they will burn calories faster so having breakfast will give them that energy to do so.
Keep the goodbye brief – The first day of school can be especially hard for the child and the parents. It’s bittersweet to know that your baby is growing up and you’ll want to walk with them to their class each day but it’s also important to give your child some independence. Longer goodbyes are okay for the first day but by day 3 they should be okay to navigate themselves to their classrooms.
At my kid’s schools, they strongly urge parents by the third day of school that children are okay to walk to their classrooms alone. In my school particularly, they have teachers and aides at every entrance and down every hallway to help kids find their classrooms.
Create a daily routine – Start a daily routine and stick to it; before school starts to figure out how much time you need to complete daily activities like dressing, feeding etc. I suggest getting up a little earlier than necessary because it helps you have enough time to get ready and help multiple children get ready if you need to. It also helps when you have extra sleepy kids who don’t want to do anything. (okay, that might just be mine. :-d)
Attend conferences – The main point of a conference is for your child’s teacher is to keep you updated on their progress. It’s important to know what they are learning and if there are problem areas so you can work on those areas at home to improve them before the next quarter.
Keep in contact with your child’s teacher – One of the most important things you can give your child’s teacher is your email address. We’re always constantly connected to our phones or computers and can check emails frequently so it’s become a quick and easy way to get in touch with parent or teacher without having to call. Teachers check their emails multiple times a day and will respond back faster than a phone call or a note home.
The teachers at our schools communicate through many different methods; like apps like Remind or Class Dojo, email updates, and of course traditional methods. Find out if your child’s teacher uses any of these apps and sign up for alerts. The apps are extremely private and you can’t access it without a special access code so you can feel secure that your child’s photos and information shared is safe from prying eyes. The app can let your teacher share class updates like when is picture day, reminders of assignments due and other updates.