- Take a tour before your child starts at his new school,
preferably when school is still in session. Look at the
classroom he will likely be in, the bathrooms, playground,
and activity rooms for music, art, and physical education.
When you visit, focus on an activity, game, or toy that
your child does not have at home, such as tempura paints
or a sandbox, and make it something for him to look forward
to on his first day.
your child to open up about his expectations for school.
Ask him if he feels excited, anxious, or a little bit of
both. Talk with him about specific worries he has for the
keep him in the social loop before school starts, ask for
a class list with telephone numbers over the summer. Arrange
play dates with other children who will be in your child’s
class. Invite another child who’s in the same class
to play with your child so he will have at least one buddy
on his first day.
the upcoming school routine in detail. Go over your child’s
new schedule, including when he needs to wake up, eat breakfast,
and be ready to leave the house. Have a couple practice
the transition from summer to school bedtimes by getting
your kids to bed fifteen minutes earlier each night about
two weeks before school, with no more staying up until ten
or eleven o’clock at night.
your child’s help, brainstorm and come up with a list
of his favorite lunches and snacks to pack for school in
order to make both grocery shopping and packing his lunch
sure your child feels comfortable with how he will be getting
to school. Drive the bus route with him, walk with him to
school the first week, or find an older child to walk with
him. Review safety precautions regarding traffic and strangers.
- Bake your child a batch of his favorite cookies as something
to look forward to after the stress of the first day.
something familiar in your child’s backpack to make
him feel more comfortable, along with something new to make
him feel special.
a big family sit-down dinner the night before or after the
first day. Talk through some of the highlights of the summer
and state one goal for the coming school year.
with neighborhood parents to meet at the bus stop the first
day for breakfast. Let your child pick out his favorite
outfit to wear.
all the items you and your child need for work, school,
or day care and load the car. If that’s not feasible,
place coats, bags, and lunch boxes by the door.
a shelf, basket, or area for each family member to place
what needs to go out the door in the morning.
lunches and refrigerate sandwiches—sometimes this
is easiest to do while making dinner. Put your car keys
with the sandwiches if it helps your remember to add the
sandwiches to lunchboxes in the morning, or put a note on
the lunchbox to remind you.
the weather report to plan clothing and outerwear for the
what to serve for breakfast to avoid early morning debates.
Some hot items, like pancakes, French toast, and bacon can
be made ahead of time and reheated.
child-size cups of milk and juice in the fridge so your
child can help herself.
Day of School
About the Author:
- Start the school year off right by making the first day
something to celebrate. Have a big breakfast, decorate the
kitchen, serve a favorite meal, and hand out new lunchboxes
or school supplies.
pictures, and pick one spot to do this each year, such as
the front porch or steps.
morning arrival time at school is critical, and most kids
like a few leisurely moments to get settled in. If you drive
your child or if he walks to school, plan to get there at
least ten minutes before school starts.
A dynamic national speaker, consultant, corporate spokesperson,
and writer, Stacy DeBroff is President and founder of Mom Central,
Inc., a company devoted to providing pragmatic tips and advice
strengthen busy families and enhance the home environment. Stacy
written several best-selling books on household and family
organization including The
Mom Book Goes to School; The
Mom Book: 4,278 Tips for Moms; Sign
Me Up! The Parent's Complete Guide to Sports, Activities, and
Extracurriculars; and Mom
Central: The Ultimate Family Organizer.