Helpful Tips from Leading Researchers to Ensure a Positive Beginning for the School Year

    1. Make a classroom visit before school starts and meet with the teacher if possible. If your school has a before school event, consider attending as a family.
    2. Help your child find his or her locker and walk through what a daily room change will be for your child.
    3. Get children of all ages into a school sleep schedule with the same bedtime every night.
    4. Establish or re-establish a routine for bathing, breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.
    5. Parents also need to get back into the school routine state of mind.
    6. Find a designated place in the home for school items.
    7. Realize a child being nervous about school is normal.
    8. Read school readiness books to young children in preparation for school. Some good examples are “Berenstain Bears Go Back to School,” “Maisy Goes to School,” “The Kissing Hand” and “Llama, Llama Misses Mama.”
    9. Keep a positive perspective about school and encourage the child.
    10. Remind children that they will get to see their friends again, even if they are not in the same classroom.
    11. Realize that changes in teachers, classrooms, schools or school districts can also create a big adjustment for the students.
    12. Let the teacher and school officials know if the child has any special needs, such as medication that needs to be administered by the nurse, or check-ins with the guidance counselor.
    13. Notify the teacher of any major life changes that occurred during the summer, such as divorce or a death in the family.
    14. Watch for a few stomachaches or headaches in the first week, which is normal. If it continues, consult a professional to find the source of the problem — it may be anxiety or a medical condition.
    15. Build bridges to communicate with teachers through phone calls or email. Email is a quick way to give an update regarding any issue.
    16. If you drive your child to school, utilize that time as a positive, relationship-building time with your child.
    17. Develop a central calendar for all school-related activities, late starts, early closings and any change in school events.
    18. Start a fun new school tradition, such as having a special breakfast for the first day, taking a yearly photo or bringing a surprise to their new teacher.