Preparing Your Child for Back to School

Summer vacation is slowly coming to an end. As the school year approaches, parents can take this time to prepare their children for back to school. From hearing them out to gearing them up with supplies, here’s how you can prepare your child ahead of the school year.

Set a Sleep Schedule

Before sending your child back to school, establish a sleep schedule.

It’s important for kids to have a consistent bedtime routine and get the amount of sleep they need. Unplugging is important, so get your child ready for bed at a set time every night and make sure they aren’t staying up late watching TV or playing video games. If you find that your child is having trouble falling asleep, try creating a routine that involves soothing activities like reading books, listening to music, or simply having a heartwarming one-on-one conversation before bed.

On top of having a set sleep schedule, getting a good night’s rest has been shown to improve cognitive functions, classroom performance, and overall health and wellness. 

Gather School Supplies Before Back to School

Preparing for school can be a stressful time for both you and your child. The last thing you need is to get stressed out over the supplies they need. 

Set up their school supply list and schedule time to buy supplies. Get a list together of what they need, set a budget for yourself, make sure you have enough time to get everything, and consider what they will need to take home with them after school. 

Consider the general items like notebooks, binders, folders, pencils/pens, post-its, and more. For more specialized subjects — like art, for example — be sure to get the appropriately tailored supplies like smocks, colored pencils, and paint.

Meet Their Teachers

After rearranging your child’s sleep schedule (a tall task coming off a lengthy summer vacation!) and gathering their school supplies, literally heading back to school should follow.

You should take your child to meet the teachers and get their class information. Find out what the teacher’s expectations are for your child, how you can get in contact with them if there is an issue and if they have any special needs or accommodations that need to be made.

Explain the Differences between Home and School

back to schoolRe-entering the classroom after three months away from school can be challenging for your child. Before school starts, sit your child down and discuss with them the differences between home life and what school will demand of them.

Start by explaining that there are going to be some things about school that are different from what you do at home. There will be a lot more structure and rules, and your child may need to do things or behave in ways that are new for them. 

Your child will undoubtedly have a lot of questions before school starts. Use this opportunity to hear them out, as well as talk about classroom expectations and what happens if they don’t follow those expectations. Instill the consequences of breaking rules or not following directions (whether it’s losing recess time or being sent to the principal). While you’re explaining these things, it’s important to emphasize that it’s okay for your child to ask questions and be curious!