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Preparing for school reopening

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/2/2006 | Education

The school reopening is a time of both excitement and anxiety. If the children are worried, the parents are nervous. Either way it is a time of anticipation, expectation and fear. What is needed is proper preparation.

Most schools provide a list of essential items that the child must carry on the first day to school. Make sure that you buy all the items in advance; otherwise your child may feel anxious and worried. You can also keep an extra stock of school stationery to meet any last minute need. These items can include calculators, reference books, notebooks, pens, pencils, maps, charts etc. A child feels confident if he knows that everything is ready and available.

A meeting with the principal or the secretary before the reopening is an excellent idea. This leads to the development of a comfortable rapport between you and the school.

You can consider writing a brief letter introducing your child, and refer briefly to his strength and weaknesses. The teacher should also be provided relevant information if your child is on medication. A personal meeting with the teacher can be more useful. You also need to brief the teacher if the child is suffering from emotional disturbances on account of family problems.

Generally, all parents let their children enjoy themselves during summer holidays. They need to change the routine once the school opening time comes closer. The change should be gradual, and introduced at least a week before the school reopens. The two routines that need to be corrected are sleeping time and meal time. You should advance the sleeping hours so that the child is able to wake up early. This would mean a similar advancement in dinner time.

You should also instill the habit of preparing for the next day by laying out clothes, packing the school bag and other things each evening. This will put a stop to last minute rush and the children will take less time to get ready in the morning. Once the session starts you can fix the homework time too.

If it's a new school you can take the child and show him the school facilities. There are chances that the campus may be huge and you may require someone to guide your child. Find out if there are volunteers available who will show the child around. Also, show the child the bus route or the car-pool route.

If your child is in the habit of placing things at their proper place then finding things will not be a problem. Otherwise, arrange for compartments where school bag, shoes and dress can be kept separately.

School by itself may not be a traumatic place but there are situations that create insecurity like missed buses, mischievous classmates or difficult teachers. At such times, you are the child's anchor and protective shield. Hug him, give him confidence, give him your time and help him overcome the problem. That's the best way to prepare your child for the school reopening.