Teachers and students are returning to school in The Magnolia State over the next few weeks. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be a hectic time full of to-do lists, items to purchase, “Meet the Teacher,” and let’s not forget getting back on a school schedule.
Here are some helpful tips to help families prepare for going back to school and find joy in the journey while doing it.
Preparation is the key. Anything you can do ahead of time, go ahead and do it. Back to school paperwork? Print those forms, fill them out, and take them to school on registration day. This will save you time and energy. Also, be sure to locate or request any other needed records (medical, proof of residency, etc.).
Purchase and label school supplies. On a budget? Check out back-to-school sales, and take a home inventory of what you have vs. what you need.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Establishing a consistent routine is essential for kids. For young children, write down the steps in the routine and practice them with your child. For younger children, this could include doing homework, playtime, brushing their teeth, bathing, and reading before bed. For older children, it could include re-establishing a school year curfew, an age-appropriate bedtime, limiting screen time, and overall time management for homework and other activities.
Independence + Small Tasks = Big Impact
Children who play an active role in preparing for returning to school are more likely to be excited about returning to school. Activities such as choosing and organizing their school supplies or first-day or school outfit will engage them in their back-to-school experience.
Daily, age-appropriate tasks will also help your child gain independence and confidence.
Overall, safety and surroundings are important to discuss. Also, review safety rules, such as looking both ways before crossing the street, crosswalk rules, and taking the same route every day if they are walking. School bus safety and safety with technology are also appropriate to discuss, if applicable.
If your child packs a lunch or snack to school, try involving them in choosing and preparing healthy lunches and snacks. Get creative, and if you’re looking for fresh ideas, Pinterest is full of them!
Map It Out
If your kiddos are starting at a new school this year, map out your morning routine. Try walking or driving to the bus stop or school a week or two before school starts. This is also a good practice if a child is anxious to return to school. Try playing in the school playground before school starts if allowed. Make this “back to school rehearsal” fun! Doing so will create fun memories and provide a positive experience and association with the school before it begins.
Talk About It
Talk about it if your child is nervous, excited, or both. Let them express their feelings and reassure them that back-to-school jitters are completely normal—even for teachers and parents, too!
A new school year is exciting! It brings new opportunities, new friends, and a fresh start. Celebrate the new school year the night before school by making a favorite dinner or a special treat. Write your child a letter and tell them how proud you are of them and remind them how amazing they are. Stick a note in their lunch box or backpack on the first day, and remember that back-to-school picture! They might roll their eyes, but they’ll be glad you captured that memory…one day.
Wishing all of Missisispi’s students and educators a fantastic 2023-2024 school year!