This time of year is filled with excitement for both parents and kids, but starting a new school year can bring some fears and anxieties to the surface for many children. Here are some tips to help ease your children's fears and make starting the new school year a little easier.
Meet The Teacher:
An article on PBS.org recommends that you take advantage of Back-to-School Night. Many children are worried about whether they will like their new teacher and meeting them that first week might ease some of their fears. Have them bring an apple or some flowers from your garden to the teacher that first week of school. This can help them get acquainted with their new teacher and is a great way for shy children to introduce themselves.
Connect With Friends:
If you are starting a new year at the same school you probably already have a group of friends your child likes to play with. See about setting up a Back-to-School party at the park or at your home. It could be something as simple as a pizza party at the park. Bring some sports equipment and/or sand toys and let them get reacquainted. Or if you are ambitious, host a party at your home. Check out more fun ideas here.
Make school shopping a fun experience! Take your children out to lunch and then head over to your nearest discount retailer. Be sure to get the class supply list ahead of time. Some teachers send out a list that first week of school asking for supplies for the classroom and use that to divvy out essentials (such as notebooks, pens, and pencils,) to the students, but there might be some extras (a calculator) they would like your child to have in the classroom. Have your child pick which pencils they would like to use and notebooks and folders. This process gets their mind on school and excited about showing off their cool Wild Kratts lunchbox (or go old school and get some Pee Chee folders) to their friends in the classroom.
Ease First Day Jitters:
After a summer of getting up late, have them start waking up and going to bed at a regular schedule about a week prior to school starting. This will ensure that they are not too groggy from going to bed late and their minds are ready to learn! Pack their backpacks the night before and have them help you choose what they want to eat for lunch. Involving them in the morning routine - from preparing what they are going to eat for lunch, to what they are going to wear, helps gets them excited about heading off to school.
Once at school explain to them that every school has a different opening-day drill and that they may start with homeroom or an assembly, but others may jump right into the first-period class. Some teachers will jump right into their first lesson, while others may have non-coursework activities planned. It all depends on the class and teacher.
Starting a new school year can be exciting but scary for some children. Keeping the lines of communication open and involving them in the process will help ease some of their anxieties. From our family at KBTC TV to yours, here's hoping the start of the school year goes smoothly for your family.
You can find more helpful tips at pbsparents.org.