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Back to School Tips

TIPS FOR BATTLING BACK TO SCHOOL ANXIETY

By: Michelle Krone

Everyone is nervous before a new school year, some more than others. Let your child know that having butterflies is normal and soon enough he or she will settle into their new routine. In the meantime, try these tips to lessen their anxiety and get your child excited for the new school year!

  1. 1.School Visit

A great way to ease a student’s mind is to schedule a school and classroom visit before the first day of school. Let your child get comfortable with the school without the typical school day commotion. Students can tour the school and find their new locker, classroom, desk, etc. Let your child play on the playground. Contact the school and ask to schedule a visit. Check your school’s website for already scheduled orientations or open houses.

  1. 2.Meet the Teachers

Teachers often are more than willing to take some time before school opens to meet students and their parents. Most school districts require staff to be present at the school prior to the students’ first day of school. This is a great opportunity to schedule your meet and greet. Students will feel better putting a face to the name. If your child has an IEP or 504 Plan, this is a great chance to introduce yourself and your child. Elementary school teachers sometimes send home “welcome letters” over the summer. Take the time to read this letter with your child.

  1. 3.Playdates with Classmates

Schedule a playdate with a student who will be in your child’s class. This will give your child some security knowing they have someone to talk to or play with at lunch and throughout the day. Being with a familiar face is always comforting.

  1. 4.Get Organized

Before school starts, review that long supply list and start to organize with your child. If possible, set up binders, folders and sharpen pencils. At home, designate a homework zone together. Let your child organize his or her materials, decorate and make the homework zone comfortable so he or she is ready and motivated. Create a calendar where all important due dates and events can be kept. Start with writing the first day of school so they can count down and be prepared. Finally, review any IEP or 504 Plan accommodations with your child, as appropriate.

  1. 5.Return to a Routine

Start to ease into your school year routine. We all know that going to sleep late and sleeping in is the best part of summer, so take some time to get back to the school night sleep schedule and routine. Plan an early bedtime, set an alarm and wake up early. If your child takes the bus, practice walking to the bus stop at the designated time. Establishing a school routine is a key component to back to school success.

  1. 6.Communicate with your Child

The most important thing is communication. Ask your child to share any fears or worries and encourage open discussions about them. This can help ease their anxieties.

  1. 7.Be Prepared

Start the year off on the right foot. Get all summer homework done and packed into the backpack well before the first day of school. Be ready to have a great school year.

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