As well documented here, my daughter started kindergarten yesterday, but for many parts of the country, back to school doesn’t begin until the next three weeks. The soonest start date that I know of after ours is next Monday, but then I know others that will not be returning to school for another three weeks.
Either way, if you are not feeling that back to school crunch stress, you will be soon. The following are 5 stress busters that can help you make the going back to school experience
Take the Time to Meet the Teacher
Most schools will offer a two or three hour window for parents to go in and Meet the Teacher. This is a great way to identify where your child’s classroom is, meet their teacher face to face as well as pick up any and all forms that you will need to fill out for the new school year.
Our elementary school requires older grades to use the school’s student planner that is printed up for them. It is chock full of useful information and the students are given the planner at meet the teacher and it includes tips for things parents and students will need to know for the first day of school.
You can also get all your questions answered such as what is the absentee policy, what are the teacher’s expectations of you the parent and you can get a few minutes to let your son or daughter acclimate to the idea of where they are going to be. We went and it took about thirty minutes and since we already had the supply lists (printed from the school website) we were able to drop all her supplies off that day as well. This made our first morning drop off and walk to the classroom all about our daughter and not about any of the above.
Ask For or Look Up the Teacher’s Email
Depending on your child’s grade, you want to assure yourself of plenty of communication access to your child’s teacher. My daughter will be bringing home a communication folder every day. The email address is useful to shoot quick questions too and save both yourself and the teacher time during the arrival and departure chaos from school.
Go Over Etiquette and Protocol with Your Kids
For some kindergartners this is their first time at school. So discussing with them why they have to raise their hand to ask the teacher a question as well as how to practice their listening skills is very important. If your child is riding the bus, you’re also going to want to go over the rules of bus riding and behavior expectations. This is also a good time to go over what your child should do if they are bullied or given a hard time.
With a new school year comes a change in the routine in the household. Go over this routine with your kids whether they are very young or much older. Be sure that you have clearly outlined what those changes are going to be. In our household, for example, we explained to our daughter the morning routine as well as the after school routine. Yesterday, she knew exactly what we were going to be doing and it helped with her adjustment curve.
Understand the Dress Code
I know of a dozen students who were sent home yesterday because they were in violation of the local dress code that was implemented here in our school district. The dress code is pretty straightforward, but you don’t want that phone call telling you to either bring a change of clothes for your child or the school will be sending them home as they inappropriately attired. It’s aggravating and embarrassing for everyone involved.
While these are only tips to help you bust the stress of going back to school, they will also serve to help your child make the adjustment from leaving summer behind and returning to a more structured atmosphere. Sure, there’s plenty more you need to do and you will do, but these are five areas that I was completely comfortable with on the day school started – it helped both myself and my daughter to just enjoy that day for what it was.
How do you cope with stress involved with going back to school?