Back-to-School Checklist

Here are some simple ways to ease those first day nerves shared on my favourite Parents Blog:
1. Encourage independence.

Children who play an active role in preparing for back to school – such as choosing and organizing school supplies and new clothes – are more likely to get excited about going back to school, which in turn eases their jitters. Is your child old enough for chores like clearing the dinner table or making lunches or even cooking in the kitchen? Daily, age-appropriate tasks will help your child gain independence and confidence.
2. Establish healthy habits.

Involve your children in choosing and preparing healthy lunches and snacks. Help them find physical activities they enjoy. Take them shopping for healthy snacks and lunch items they can pack themselves. Try to stick to regular mealtimes even during the vacation time to maintain routines.
3. Re-establish a routine.

During vacation, routines go out the door! It’s crucially important to establish a consistent routine as they prepare for their return to school. Write out the steps in the routine and rehearse them with your child. In the evening, this could include doing homework, playtime, brushing their teeth, having a bath, and reading before bed.
4. Early to bed, early to rise.

Getting back into a school sleep schedule won’t happen overnight! A few days before school starts, get your child into the habit of going to bed earlier. Gentle winding-down activities such as bath time and reading before bed can help your child relax.
5. Limit screen time.

Back to school is the perfect opportunity to re-establish screen time limits. Why not have the whole family “unplug” in the evenings before bedtime? Choose a spot where everybody can charge their devices overnight. Even consider using an alarm clock instead of a cell phone to wake up in the mornings!
6. Talk about first-week jitters.

Reassure your child that being nervous is natural – even for teachers. You can help your child cope with these feelings when you:
• Let them express their fears. Perhaps you can offer stories of your own first-day jitters when you were a child.
• Teach them to breathe deeply and slowly to calm their nerves.
• Discuss the scenarios that worry them. For example, if they’re worried about who to sit with or talk to on the first day, help them plan a strategy and rehearse it so they’ll know what to do.
7. Talk about safety.

Review outdoor safety rules – things like looking both ways before crossing the street, taking the same route every day if they are walking, familiarising themselves with crosswalk rules, and being cautious in talking to strangers.
8. Map it out.

If your kids are starting at a new school, practice walking or driving to the bus stop or to the school building a week or two before school starts. You could even play in the school playground before school starts. This creates fun memories associated with the school before vacation ends.
9. Choose the right backpack.

Backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly could result in muscle strain, headaches, and neck pain. Try to choose a backpack made of sturdy, lightweight fabric with wide, padded straps that will support your child’s shoulders. Watch that they don’t sling it over just one shoulder.
10. Celebrate the start of a new school year.

If you celebrate the first day of school, your kids will see back-to-school as a transition they can really enjoy. Don’t forget to take a picture on the front step in their first-day-of-school outfits. It’s going to be a great year!

WE congratulate all students and parents and encourage you all to welcome the new year with a positive mindset and hope for enlightening experiences; discovering, and learning new things and a bright chapter for this academic year!
Your Back-to-School Checklist–Let’s reduce the first day ‘jitters’
Women Empowerment Magazine, Guardian, Wednesday, 2023-August-27

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