Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back To School: How to Prepare Them

Hello Everyone!! 

Summer vacation is over for some of our little ones, but others have a few weeks left before their school year begins.

My kids' school year began on August 6th, 2015.   My son, who will turn 9 years old next month, is now a third grader! I can't believe how fast time passes by.  No, let me rephrase that, we all know how fast time can pass by, I just wish it didn't.  

Moving up a grade means he will face more challenges, high academic demands and the struggle to make new friends.   But thankfully he will not face the challenge of attending a new school like some of your kids will.

But don't worry, even if this if the first year your little ones is attending school there are many things you can do to make the transition process from home to school an easy one, not just for them but for you too.   I do the following every year.   

Meet & Greet:

Some schools are not open to the public during the summer. (If your assigned school is open, make sure you take advantage of it and visit!!)   However, most teachers are available via e-mail.  I suggest communicating with them, let them know of your situation and ask if it would possible for your child to visit the classroom before school starts.  

If such meeting is not possible, make sure you attend Open House (Orientation) and let the child spend as much time as he/she can in the classroom so that he/she can get to know the classroom, where their desk, locker, bathroom is located. etc.

I always attend Open House, it gives me an opportunity to meet the teacher face to face and see how "parent friendly" he or she is and how my child interacts around them. 

I also take the opportunity to ask questions about discipline protocol, homework assignments, best way to contact them and of course, volunteering opportunities.  

Walk with them:

If possible, walk with them to class.  Help them get settled, but do not stay any longer than you have to.  Talk to the little ones ahead of time and describe to them what the plan is once you arrive at the school.  Try not to spend too much time talking about "goodbyes" or "mommy is going to leave you", trust me, it doesn't matter what you say after that, the only words those little ears are hearing are "good bye" and "I'm going to be alone".  

Try and say things like "Once we get to class, mommy will help you place your items in your cubbie, and will show you where your lunch box needs to go, all your new friends will be there already, so as soon as we get everything where it needs to be, the class will begin....".

My kids are well into their second week of school, I no longer walk them to their classrooms. Sp, while we are sitting in car line, we go over their spelling words, we pray together and I remind them how much I love them.  

Love & Encouraging Notes:

This is another way to remind them that you are thinking of them.  I still do this, my son still loves getting "hidden messages" in his lunch box.  

Even if your child can't fluently read yet, its okay, when my daughter was in Pre-K, I would draw  tiny flowers and hearts on the sticky note and I would write "ILU" and she knew what it meant.  

Of course, now that they are older, my messages include: 

"I love you"
"Make good choices"
"Remember to be kind to others"
"Remember to use your manners"
"Don't be bossy- listen to others" (this mainly is for my son); and
"Make me Proud"
"Believe in yourself"
"Be Proud of yourself"

Let Your child express his/her feelings:

Unfortunately, my daughter was sick during the first and second day of school.  While it was the wrong way to start the year, it gave me extra time to address her fears.  

Do not dismiss their feelings, even when you know their fears are silly.   Well, they may be silly to us but to them that monster is real.

Remind you child that if any problems arises at school, they must tell the Teacher and that the Teacher will contact you.  

I truly believe that because I spent the extra time with her, reminding her that this will be a fun and exciting year, that she will get to have homework like her brother, and she will no longer have to take naps therefore giving her extra "play time"... as silly all these things sound, I believe her fears were eased.

When Monday arrived, she was more than ready to start her day and no tears were shed this year! 

Pick Up Time:

Now, I've always done the drop off and pick up so I didn't have to alter my schedule for this. 

But if your schedule is not as flexible, make plans ahead of time to leave work a bit early so that you may be able to pick them up.  At the end of their first day, the kids are eager to get home.   

I make sure I have the extra time and have a special treat with them so that I can ask them about their day.  

Now, everybody prepares their children differently, here are some Tips & Advice from other Parents:

Maria B. says: 

"Well, we normally read "who will be my teacher this year". This year it's kinda like they know what they have to do and they're good with it. Usually Joolz concern is he won't know anyone and I normally tell him, but You're awesome! So soon enough you'll know everyone! And he's good with that. I put them to sleep early enough and fix breakfast every morning to get them started right"

Yessica B. shares: 

"I find it helpful to reassure them that I will be picking them up from school or, when I was working, who was going to pick them up. We talk about how fun school will be, that they'll see old friends and meet new ones, and that they get to share time with a new teacher! I am lucky that for the most part, my kids enjoy school."

Yari T. shares: 

"For the last two weeks I've been trying to get them to bed earlier and up earlier to start getting them used to a schedule again. A month before school I give them Oregon Grape root, it taste horrible but I throw a gummy vitamin in their mouth right after to help a little.
Oregon grape serves as an excellent alternative; they both contain the immune-stimulating, infection-fighting, antiseptic constituent berberine. Herbs that contain berberine are scientifically proven to protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. 
When my daughter started pre k, the flu, strep throat and several colds passed through the class and even the teachers missed and my daughter never got sick. Either good luck or the stuff really works. 
We make school supply shopping a bug deal and have lots of fun to get them excited. 
Last, I continue to cover them in prayer. When school starts my prayers change a little to focus on school, peer pressure, leadership and just for them to be covered and protected. Lol OK, I'm done!!!!

Maria C. shares: 

"Night before I have my kids (preK, 2nd, 3rd grade) to get their uniform ready and they show it to me. Gives them independence on choosing their outfit. Always wish my kiddos to have a great day and lots of hugs and kisses."

Lennon Christian-Cavman shares: 

"Inform kids what personal information (social media access/phone) NOT to share with everyone- Or, crate fun "Biz Cards" for them to share with the relevant info.  Pray with them each day- even if it's in the car (eyes open) Helps them learn to meditate+focus positively.  Give them something to share.  Offering an extra snack, pencil, etc can help them break ice with new friends." 


     Gina shares:

Our friend from "Mygirlshairjourney" shares her B2S styles: