Top Ten Tips For Child's First Day School
- Begin preparing your child a few weeks before the big day (sooner, if this is his or her first school experience or a new school). If your household has relaxed bedtime and morning routines over the summer months, start to wake your child a little earlier each morning, and move bedtime up fifteen minutes every few nights to re-establish "school hours."
- Plan a "back-to-school" shopping day with each child individually, and make it a special event. Of course, you'll set (and try to stick to) a general budget, but leave some room for one or two small extravagances (reuse last year's backpack, but buy this year's hottest cartoon-character notebook).
- Before the big clothes-shopping trip, spend some time with each child sorting through last year's things and decide together what goes into which pile (keeper, hand-me-down or donate). Insist that your child try on every keeper.
- For a new year in a new school, plan a visit there a week or so before the first day. Walk through the building locating the classrooms, bathrooms and lunchroom.
- If your child will be riding the bus, find out the route he or she will take and take a drive on it together a few times. If he or she is a walker, plan the route and walk it together both ways.
- Help your child deal with first-day jitters by focusing on some special advantage of, for example, being a fourth-grader. Perhaps your child is now old enough for his or her own house key, an increase in allowance or some other new privilege.
- Celebrate the big day. Go out for dinner or plan a special meal the night before, or present your child with a small gift.
- Unless your child's school sends out a detailed list of required supplies for his or her specific grade and classes, it's best to buy just the general stuff . Middle school and high school teachers in particular are likely to provide lists of exactly what your child will need for each subject area a few days into the new school year.
- Don't wait too long to schedule that back-to-school shopping trip.
- Review important safety rules with your child such as using established walking routes to and from school, what to do if approached by a stranger, what to do if he or she misses the bus or loses the house key.
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