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Eight ways to prepare your child for school

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/2/2006 | Education

The school reopening time is always an anxious period for parents and children. 

The child often withdraws into a shell, worried at the idea of returning to school. The parents dont know how to convince the child that the school will be fun.

 This is not all. The child realizes that the summer home work is yet to be finished; and the parents wonder if the child has outgrown the school uniform or not. It is therefore advisable to prepare for school reopening in time. There is no point in waiting for the last minute.

 Here are eight ways to prepare your child for school:
 1. The first task is to regularize the bedtime and the waking up time. During vacations, these timings go haywire and need to be put in place again. It is necessary to give your child time to adjust to the new routine. Do not push or prod him unnecessarily.  It will be of great help if you start preparations at least two weeks ahead of the reopening day.
 2. Encourage your child to look forward to the new academic term. You can recall events from the previous year. Remind the child how much they enjoyed the field trips and the interesting project they had worked on. This is an indirect indication that the same excitement can be expected this year.
 3. Make it a point to take your child with you when you shop for the childs backpack, lunchbox, water bottle or stationary. It is a thrilling experience for the child. Make the child cover the books and notebooks and glue the labels. If you have high school kids then help them to purchase a dictionary or a calculator or an atlas.
 4. Every child loves to be noticed. Encourage your child to share their holiday activities with their friends and teachers. This will make them look forward to the idea of meeting their friends again.
 5.  Escort your child to the classroom on the first day. If possible meet the teacher and the childs classmates as well. Help your child in becoming familiar with the routes to the library, toilets, and the lunchroom. Getting familiar will subdue their fear to a considerable degree.
 6. Spend some time with the child after he returns from school. Ask him to narrate in detail everything that happened. The child will feel important and wanted. Another way to let the child feel assured is to do the homework with him. It does not mean doing the childs homework but to sit and guide the child. It simply portrays your concern and interest towards your childs activities.
 7.  The child loses interest if parents do not show sufficient excitement about his achievements. It is important to pat the child, every time he accomplishes something. Also participate in the childs school activities like parties meant for parents or field trips. This way you feel connected with the school and the parents of the fellow students.
 8. Be watchful if your child stops telling you school stories, has difficulty in being normal, or develops strained relations with siblings. It means the stress is not yet over. Help the child break out of the shell. Try to understand the childs feelings. This will make a great difference. You can also speak to the teacher and take steps to help your child together.