Getting back to school can be a long to-do list for parents. From tracking down school supplies and finishing up summer reading, to ordering uniforms and completing school paperwork – there is a lot to stay on top of in these last busy days of summer.
While these items are certainly important, there are some things that may not have made your list, but will set your child up for success more than the right shoes, folders and car loop plans.
- Start prepping for the new schedule NOW by easing yourself and your child back into the routine. Before school begins, re-establish mealtimes and bedtimes. If you haven’t done this in the past, now is the time to start establishing these routines. Start setting the alarm clocks. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep helps promote both physical and mental health.
- Plan appropriate meals. Some foods are better choices than others for maintaining energy during the day. Provide your child the vitamins and minerals needed and the energy to get through the day by offering protein, complex carbohydrates and lots of fruits and vegetables at breakfast and lunch.
- If your child is a Lower School student, make sure to schedule an appointment with your child’s teacher at our Parent Sharing Conferences. Think about your goals for your child in the coming year. Be prepared to share that information along with any challenges your child may be facing.
- Talk about responsibilities and expectations with your child. When do they buy lunch? Do they have any responsibility in packing lunch? What is the extracurricular activity schedule? When and where will homework be completed? For older children, this could include discussions about when technology is put up for the night and who your student is allowed to drive with and when they are expected home.
- Going back to school can be emotional for some children. Be aware and available to talk. Your child may be anxious, excited or scared during the transition. Some parents let them know they care by including a note in the lunchbox. Remain calm and positive. What you focus on, you get more of. If the first few days are a little rough, do not overreact. Children will often take their cues from their parents. Focus on staying positive and seeing challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have concerns.
- Clear your own schedule if it is possible. Try to postpone business trips or extra projects. Be available to help your child acclimate.
- Plan to attend back to school night by getting the appropriate dates on your calendar. Take the opportunity to get to know your child’s teacher(s) to establish good open lines of communication at the start of the year.
Then – take a deep breath! It’s going to be a great school year. I look forward to seeing you and together making Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy a remarkable place for your child to learn and grow.
Catherine S. Koos