To ease your worries and your kids start on the right foot, Precinct 2 has gathered tips from Elementary School teacher, Vianey Lara. She specializes in teaching bilingual kids from grades first through fourth and has witnessed the impact that a well-prepared parent can have in a child’s education.
“Being prepared ahead of time always helps kids have a better start on the school year,” says Lara. “When a parent is ready, you can see it in a child’s confidence and attitude; it’s more positive than a child whose parents were unprepared.”
It is never too early to begin preparing for a new school year. The sooner you prepare, the easier the process will be, and the better it will be for you and your child.
- Establish a routine:
During the summer, sometimes parents may push back curfew time, allowing their children to stay up a little longer than usual, and as a result, children will wake up late in the morning.
“A routine is important to start before the school season begins, to allow children ease into school’s early hours and help parents not have stressful mornings,” says Lara.
Lara recommends parents to practice by setting up an early bedtime and morning routine at least two weeks in advance. You can do this by having your kids wake up at the same time in the morning and go to bed at the same time at night.
- Go school shopping!
Shopping for list items doesn’t have to be a boring chore. Enjoying this with your children can be a fun way of getting them involved and excited about the new school year. Understanding the list and shopping in advance for school supplies, school outfits, and other must-have items is recommended so that parents don’t have to deal with crowded areas and last-minute shoppers.
“I believe school supplies are essentials that help children have a better learning experience and provide a needed structure to learning,” says Lara.
- Meet the teacher:
Take the time to tour the school and meet the teacher just a few days before. This will help ease your children’s anxiety and help them understand what their surroundings will be for the next year.
“I can speak for many teachers when I say that we love it when parents take some time to meet us. This allows the teacher and the parent to connect and work as a team to help the child succeed in their education,” said Lara.
- Create good habits and get organized:
This is the perfect time to get organized and designate special work areas, not only for your child but for yourself, too. Designate a place and time where they can sit down and work on their homework. You will want to make sure this place is a quiet area where they will be able to focus on assignments and school projects.
Once you’ve designated them a place, try to designate one for yourself, too. This place will be where you will get to review your child’s homework, school material, or any other paperwork. Start marking your calendar with important dates to remember: parent conferences, school events, report card arrivals, etc.
“I can’t express enough how important it is for parents to organize themselves before the new school year,” says Lara. “Organization not only helps ease the parent’s anxiety but for their kids too.”
Worried about being in a rush on the first day?! Don’t be! Lara mentioned that a great way to not find yourself on the run every morning is to, with your child, organize your child’s clothes for the entire week a couple of days before. This will also help you not start any battles with the little fashionistas. They can just dress and go!
- Electronics off!
In this day and age, it is safe to say that we all get sidetracked with social media, television, and other electronics. Well, your child can, too, especially in the summer when the season is filled with endless video games and 24-hour streaming television shows. Designate a shutdown-time, where electronics, video games, and television must be turned off.
“There have been some cases where I have seen some kids come in exhausted on their first day of school because of video games or other electronics. This tends to happen when kids don’t have a routine set before school starts, which makes it harder for them to concentrate throughout the day,” says Lara.
- Plan out meals and snacks:
“Behind a successful day, there has been a great meal!” Lara said. To help your kids stay focused and start on the right path every morning, they must have full bellies. Planning their breakfast, lunch, and easy and small snacks that they can have throughout the day will keep them fueled and energized. It will also help parents not be in the kitchen all day wondering what they will cook next and rushing out the door without breakfast.
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