Tips to Help Prepare your Kids for their First Day

By Purex | Aug. 5, 2013 | Tips & Tricks

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to begin preparing for the up and coming school year. For kids, leaving behind the long, relaxing days of the cherished summer break for early mornings and late night homework assignments can often come as a shock in August or September. Although thinking about preparing your kids for school typically involves new wardrobes and back to school shopping lists, there are less tangible things you can do to get them physically and mentally prepared for their first day. These tips are meant to give you some ideas on how you can help your child – and yourself – get ready to head back to school.
Revive Normal School Routines
While some kids may have kept similar routines over summer through camps and other activities, often the hardest part about returning to school after the break is getting back into the rhythm of going to class and using their brains on a daily basis. To keep them ahead of their classmates, think about using the last few weeks of summer to get into a school day rhythm. This begins with re-establishing normal sleep and wake up times. Have your child go to bed at a reasonable hour and practice waking them up at the same time every morning. Eating breakfast and lunch around the same times they will be eating at school will not only help prepare their mind, it’ll help prepare their metabolism for more efficient energy consumption during the exhausting school days to come.
One of the most important aspects of reinforcing normal routines is getting the kids use to leaving the house in the morning. Whether it’s scheduling a play date or forcing them to go to the library for an hour to read, try to plan some morning activities outside the house in the last few weeks before school begins. Getting them out the door before the bell rings will be much easier if they are not used to watching cartoons in their pajamas after eating breakfast.
Teach Organization
A wise man once said life is like a cobweb, not an organization chart. That being said, it’s hard to argue that organization doesn’t lead to more efficiency and less stress. A little organization can go a long way when it comes to saving time and limiting frustration. This goes the same for your child, particularly when it comes to getting out of the house in the morning. A good way to avoid last minute scrambles in the morning before school, denote a spot in the house (either by the door or in their bedroom) where school items such as backpacks and lunch boxes are placed when not being used. It’s also not a bad idea to post a list by the door of things your kids need to bring to school so they will check it before they leave the house each day.
This same level of organization goes for homework as well. To avoid daily battles and raspy voices, set up a regular time and place for homework. The place can be as simple as the kitchen table and the time – whenever they first get home on a weekday. When you establish a routine for homework, it makes it much easier for kids to stay on top of it and not see it as such a chore. If possible, try and make yourself available for questions during homework time, especially with younger children. Not only does this make sure that someone is there to answer any questions, but it will make your child more productive if they feel accountable to you to get their work done.
Develop Independence
One of the main purposes of schooling is to teach children independence and accountability. Once the classroom door shuts, your kids will be responsible for managing their eating habits, school or homework, and social lives all by themselves. Prepare them for this by discussing potential responsibilities and teaching them about managing one’s priorities. Warn him or her about issues that may arise such as organizing materials, recording assignments, and bringing home the right books to do their homework. Even if your child is young, there are certain things you can do to practice skills that build confidence and independence.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to preparing your child for their first day is to stick together. Together, you and your child can plan for success in the classroom. When you make preparation a family affair, your children will feel a lot more confident about heading back to school. As an added bonus, we protective parents won’t feel so nervous sending them off for their first day!