Hooray for the new school year

While it’s great to celebrate sending youth back to school, be sure to keep a couple things in mind.

With the end of summer comes a great deal of celebration. Stay-at-home parents everywhere are likely rejoicing because their wonderful little angels will be going back to school instead of being home, demanding constant entertainment. Working parents are rejoicing because they no longer have to pay huge sums of money for a daycare, day camp, or for someone else to watch and entertain their children all day.

In the midst of all of the celebrations, Michigan State University Extension recommends remembering a few details as children head back to school.

  1. Routine – During the foot loose and fancy free days of summer, kids get used to staying up as late as they want and sleeping in. They may be used to running free with no schedules or structure. One or two weeks before school begins, start preparing your child for the return to a normal school routine. Organize the house and the child’s backpack. Make sure that your son or daughter has plenty of sleep and healthy food to give them energy for the big day. These small preparations will ease the big transition from summer into fall.
  2. Supplies and shopping – The best way to handle this enormous task is to take small steps. Throughout the course of the summer, pick up a few shirts, socks, uniforms, etc. When you get the supply list from the school, pick up a few items each time you go to the grocery store. This can help alleviate the stress of one or two large scale shopping trips and the spending that comes along with them.
  3. Communication – Find a way to get in touch with your child’s teacher. You can usually find an email address or phone number on the school district’s web site or on the materials that get sent to your home. If the teacher is proactive, and they usually are, they will want you to communicate with them. Let them know if you have any concerns about your child’s learning, allergies, especially severe ones, or other issues that they should know about.
  4. Soothing anxieties – Encourage your children to share their feelings about the new school year. Anxiety or stress can result from any number of circumstances. They could fear a bully from the previous year, changing clothes in gym class or being unsure about the workload of a new class. Open communication will allow you to understand what is happening so that you can help.

There are certainly additional things that could be added to this list, but if you are able to tackle these items, then you will be well on your way to a successful start to the new school year.

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