Preparing Your Child, and Yourself, for the Upcoming School Year
By: Lauren Alexander, Graduate Intern Summer 2022, Loyola University Chicago
The school year is quickly approaching! As you’re gearing up your child for back-to-school, it’s important to remember to prepare yourself as well. Stock up on the school supplies and these strategies compiled by the BI team here at Tuesday’s Child.
have composed a list of suggestions to ease your child – and yourself – into the school year. Below is a list of strategies recommended by TC staff and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center.
#1: Set up for Success
Establish a morning and night time routine for the school week. “Engaging, predictable environments and ongoing positive adult-child interactions are necessary for promoting children’s social and emotional development” (Hemmeter, Ostrosky, and Fox 2006). A consistent routine will help your child feel control in their environment, feel safe, secure, and comfortable, and will encourage their engagement in the classroom setting.
Utilize a visual schedule! Attached to this link is a great example of a step-by-step visual chart that you can recreate for your own child.
#2: Curb Separation Anxiety
Back-to-school jitters are normal! A great way to curb your child’s anxiety is by sending them to school with a picture of your family in their backpack. This way, you will be “at school” with your little one. Notes in lunches are also a great reminder to your child that you are thinking about them! Notes can be handwritten, or visual drawings.
Communication with your child’s teachers and administrators is a two-way street. Reach out to appropriate staff and introduce yourself. If you can, be active in your school. Join PTA’s or other organizations if you are able to.
#4: Connect with Friends
A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool.
#5: Stay Cool
One of the most helpful things you can do is model calm, confident behavior, particularly while a child get ready for school. Continue to take care of yourself. Add some mindful moments into your day to help yourself, and your child calm.
Hemmeter, Mary Louise; Michaelene Ostrosky, and Lise Fox. “Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: A Conceptual Model for Intervention.”School Psychology Review 35(4) (2006): 583–601.
The importance of schedules and routines. ECLKC. (2022, June 10). from://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/about-us/article/importance-schedules-routines