Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PREPARING FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Tomorrow is the first day of school in Griffith, and we want to pass on a few tips to help with your child's transition from lazy summer mode to eager learning beaver!

PREPARE
  • Before school starts, spend some time with your kids and discuss what to expect on their first day of school.  Listen carefully to their feedback and use it to provide helpful tips on how to interact with new people and adjusting to unfamiliar teachers and classes. 
  • Double-check you kids know their pick-up times and locations.  Be prompt to drop off and arrive at those set locations. 
GET PACKING
  • If you’re getting a new backpack for your child, look for one with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.  This reduces the chance of injury from lugging heavy books from class to class.  
  • Arrange contents in the backpack so that you use all compartments. Place heavier items closer to the center of the back.  Rule-of-thumb:  don’t exceed a load more than 10-20% of your child's body weight.
  • Remind your kids that carrying a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles – always use BOTH straps. 
EASE INTO THE ROUTINE
  • Have your kids set their own alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Praise them for prompt response to morning schedules and bus pickups. 
  • Go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother. 
AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL….let your kids know you care! If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce the ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child.  Reassure them that it’s natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new.  Try to remain as calm and as positive on the first morning.