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10 Teachers' Tips for Kick-Starting the New School Year

Read these tips from teachers to help get your child ready for the new school year.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Reading
Social Skills

1. Sleep for school. Setting up a regular bedtime and wake-up routine before school starts is a crucial step to prepare your child for class and a practical way to cut down on first-day stress.

2. Look up to learning. If your child is feeling a bit anxious about going back to school, keep a positive attitude. Recall the fun and exciting events, field trips, projects, and so on from years past, and show excitement about the opportunities for learning new things in the upcoming year.

3. Walk through it. Escorting younger children to the classroom can help with the transition. Familiarize your child with key places such as the bathroom, gym, library, and cafeteria — he'll feel more confident if he knows where everything is.

4. Suit 'em up. Shopping for school supplies with your child can be a fun way to give him some responsibility. Provide parameters, but allow him to pick out a backpack, lunch box, nap mat, water bottle, new clothes, and some basic school supplies (pencils, crayons, etc).

5. Talk it out. Asking your child about school is important. It shows her that you value her education. Try to avoid general questions, like "How was your day?" These will most likely produce one-word answers. Instead, be specific.

6. Bring it home. Helping your child with his homework is an effective way to show concern for what he learns at school. Displaying your child's projects around the house also helps to keep learning excitement high.

7. Go farther. Getting involved in school events is a critical aspect of showing support and enthusiasm for your child's learning experience. Participating in school activities is also a valuable way of connecting to the school community. You can learn a lot about the school just by talking to fellow parents.

8. Keep your eyes (and ears) open. If your child's eating or sleeping habits have changed drastically, it may be a sign that she's having difficulty adjusting to her new grade.

9. Read, read, read. Reading with your child is an invaluable way to spend quality time together on a daily basis. In addition to other long-term benefits, reading together can also be a practical way to discern his reading level.

10. Connect. Communicating with your child's teacher on a regular basis is an essential part of caring for her education. Teachers can alert you to any emotional, social, or academic difficulties they perceive in your child at school. The same works in reverse: notify teachers about changes that might affect your child's behavior in school. Some examples are illness, divorce, the death of a family member, a recent move, or a parent getting a new job.

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