The start of the school year is fast approaching; pens and pencils are on sale in every store, the latest fashion in backpacks has arrived, and the excitement is building up for your child! You can never be too prepared to send your child back to school, so we have some tips to help you and your child make a smooth transition into the upcoming school year! Ms. Kelli, VP of Family Engagement & Community Relations at The Children's Workshop, discussed this topic on The Rhode Show. Watch the segment here!

Organization, routines, and planning will become (if they aren’t already) your best friends.

  • Organization:  Make lists! Children thrive on predictable outcomes – sit down with them and make a to-do list. This way, they will know what to expect through the whole process!
  • Routines:  Children should have a routine for when they go to bed, for example: brushing their teeth, taking a bath, and reading a story. They should know what time is “bedtime” and finish their routine by this time. The earlier the better—well rested children are much more successful in school!
  • Planning:  If your family meal habits changed over the summer, begin scheduling mealtimes to mimic the school year. Establishing healthy eating habits at the beginning of the school year is also a great goal. It will become part of their routine! Remember to ensure they are always eating breakfast before they catch the bus—it’s the most important meal of the day!

Back to School shopping should be fun!

  • Be sure to check online for Back to School coupons and sales! Compare prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal! Different sales are happening at different times, so don’t do all your shopping at once!
  • Make a shopping list with your child and check it against the list provided from your child’s teacher. They may not need every item on the list on the first day, but you can never be too prepared.
  • Allow your child to do earn some money over the summer and contribute toward his/her back to school supply needs.  This is a fun and great way to teach your child the responsibility of using money to purchase items!
  • When clothes shopping, keep this New England weather in mind! Your child probably won’t be wearing shorts in a month, so think about clothing that can be worn throughout every season!
  • Invest in a quality pair of sneakers. Your child will be very active once school starts—gym class, running to the bus stop, and playing outside at recess can all take a toll on your child’s footwear.

Think about the expectations that your child’s new teacher has.

  • Teachers typically expect children to be well rested, nourished, enthusiastic and ready to learn.
  • Most teachers recognize that children have been relaxed and on vacation all summer.
  • B e prepared to fill out many back to school forms. It makes it a lot easier for your teacher, child, and self if you return the forms as soon as possible.

Keep a positive attitude, always.

  • If the rush of back to school gets you or your child worked up, remember that this is a positive experience. Your child only goes back to school so many times so cherish it!
  • Have patience with the process of a routine. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so do not quit!
  • Sit down with your child and make a list of goals for the school year. Achieving goals is a wonderful thing, so build up the excitement of your list!

Other useful tips:

  • Surf the web:  Many school systems have classroom web pages that teachers may list important information on regarding the start of the school year. 
  • Create a calendar:  Create your family calendar now so that nothing is forgotten in the back to school excitement!

Clean:  Clean and organize the house in preparation for the new school year. Create an area of the house designated just for homework!

Posted by Mel Cline