Your child's first experience with preschool can be nerve-racking—both for you and your little one. It's a new, uncharted experience that can require an adjustment, even into the early months of school. And for older kids, getting into the groove of a new grade can also have its challenges.
That’s why we asked our Scholastic Parents Facebook audience for ways in which their families ease into the first months of school, especially for their early learners. Check out their tips—which may not only spark some great ideas for you, but allow you both to enjoy the excitement of this special time even more.
"My 4-year-old and I prepared for his second year of preschool by marking each day off of his calendar as we counted down to his FIRST DAY. He was excited to return so we kept track of the month, day, and date up to his first day back. It helped us enjoy the remainder of summer break, plus something for him to look forward to while it became easier for him to track his time spent and the days he had left." -- Katrina Freiburger
"We always start with getting dressed and having breakfast together. It's the most important meal of the day and it makes me feel great knowing she had a nutritious breakfast and is ready for the day!!" -- Deloris Coleman
"Stay consistent with morning and night routines, quiet time, and story time is a must (I'm blessed to have book lovers for kiddos). Staying organized and being prepared for the week cuts down on time management. Healthy meals and snack options to keep bellies full and the mind sharp so that they can focus on learning. Lastly, getting them in bed at an appropriate time so they are well rested. As an added bonus, we make weekly trips to the local library to have fun with reading, teach them to make their own choices so that they don't ever get bored, and so they can discover the fun in learning outside the classroom." -- Marie Woodcock
"We started talking to our daughter about what would happen when school started weeks before her first day and just keep reminding her every morning that Mommy will be there to pick her up at the end of the day. We always like to talk to her about what's going to happen when we're/she's about to do anything new and/or different and, so far, it has worked well for her." -- Tracey Rifenburgh
"Keep calm, make lunch, pack snacks and drinks night before, pick out clothes night before and make sure I know where shoes are so I'm not freaking out [the] next morning." -- Lauren Irace Yentis
"I keep a big dry erase calendar in a little corner dedicated to school backpacks and lunchboxes. I keep it updated with the week's activities. And there's a cubby with folders for homework etc...It's a big help to keep everything organized." -- Ellie Wright
"Set the clocks an hour ahead at night (oldest can tell time). Then they think it's later than it is and they get a full 12 hours of sleep." -- Kayla Cole
"Shop for the next school year throughout the current school year. You can never have too many crayons, pencils, scissors, paper, or glue sticks. Buy bulk hand sanitizer/Lysol for your teacher's classroom." -- Bionca Tate
"Read a book (preferably [with] their favorite character) and then have your child read it back after you're finished. This encourages independent reading. Even though they might not recognize every word (truly read), they will eventually remember word for word. Thus, one step closer to reading on their own and learning new words." -- Zena Levine Gay
"Setting routines and having the lights dimmer in the house while having a reading party before bed! When you have multiple kids who are in school and need a good bedtime, they know by having the lights dimmed it's about bedtime. Each kid gets to pick a book to read. My oldest, she's 7, will read her book out loud to me and her little brother and sister. My 3-year-old who's in preschool will have me start with his favorite book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? After books it’s a small snack then off to bed." -- Kelly Gallion
What are your tips for keeping things running smoothly during the school year? Let us know on the Scholastic Parents Facebook Page.