Back to School Tips

Learning is natural, and so are life transitions. If you have a special someone, or know a special someone who is entering into school life for the first time this week, perhaps you are dealing with mixed emotions. Letting go is often difficult! We want to share some quick ideas with you to help you embrace what is frequently one of the most memorable transitions of childhood.

Five things you can do to help your child during the first week of school

1. Appear as relaxed as possible.

2. Refrain from mentioning any concerns you may have in front of your child.

3. Avoid becoming distracted by other concerned caregivers and keep the atmosphere between you and your child intimate, secure and calm.

4. Read the list you receive and send everything that is required, marking the child’s name on every item.

5. Resist the temptation to say “Oh, I’ve missed you!” at pick-up time, in favor of a more neutral, cheerful greeting.

Five items not to pack in a lunch box during the first week of school

1. Dinner leftovers that require reheating. This causes delay at best and disgust at worst.

2. Large containers of liquids. They never finish them and, if they were to, you would need to be prepared for a bathroom stop on the drive home.

3. Oranges that are not peeled, unless the child is already an expert.

4. Strong smelling foods that will possibly inspire negative conversation, not get eaten, and certainly hide in the lunchbox for as long as it takes to permeate every last fiber.

5. Candy.

Five things to do while your child is at school

1. Catch up on ironing and boring chores, saving as much time as possible for afternoon or evening conversation.

2. Fill the gas tank in case a quick getaway is needed at the end of an overstimulating day.

3. Call a friend and take a little time out of the house.

4. Make a decision not to call the office with concerns while the initial week of community building takes place. If there is a problem, you can be sure that the teacher will call you.

5. Take a nap (with the baby, if you have one.) You need to save all the good energy for evening hours.

Five secrets to a calm start to the day

1. Make sure a bedtime schedule is adhered to. This impacts every aspect of school life no matter what age.

2. Have your child help you pick out tomorrow’s outfit tonight during your bedtime routine.

3. Hide all inappropriate clothing and be confident enough to allow your child to wear exactly what they choose.

4. Have an anxious child travel to school/ to the bus stop with the parent who demonstrates the least anxiety.

5. Wake up in time for a good breakfast and lead by example!

Five treasures to bring for show and tell

1. A leaf.

2. A twig.

3. A snakeskin.

4. A rock.

5. A shell.

(Objects from nature invite discussion, inspire others and are often more memorable than the largest plastic toy. Yes, even the tiniest shell.)

For more ideas on supporting early literacy development and engaging early learners with the outdoors, visit us at phoneticplanet.org, and come say hi on instagram!