- Go ahead and set sleep schedules to back to school time. This means going to bed at the time your child normally does when in school and waking up at about the same time they do for school. You’ll probably find that this change in schedule will affect your schedule as well as that of any other children in the house. Starting now will help you work out any kinks as well as give you child time to adjust to the change.
- Speaking of bedtime, now is the time to work on bedtime routines. If you can establish a good bedtime routine before school starts, it will make your life easier when school starts. Think about things like what time the TV needs to be turned off, bath time, story time and what time you want lights out. The same goes for mornings. Do you allow TV time in the mornings before school? What tasks is your child responsible for in the morning before school, like maybe making his bed or helping to fix his lunch?
- Test your alarm clock(s). If you are not using your alarm clock now or maybe you just bought a new one, test it before school starts. Make sure you have the wake-up time set to AM (please tell me I’m not alone in having set an alarm only to find out too late I set it to PM instead of AM). The first day of school is not the day to find out your alarm doesn’t work or that you set it incorrectly.
- If your child will be bringing a lunch to school, make sure you have a lunchbox, ice packs and whatever containers you plan to put the food in. If their food will need to be warmed, we prefer glass containers that can go straight into the microwave. If you have a thermos to keep food warm, that would be helpful as there are days that the microwave tends to have a wait. You will also need to have a set of utensils dedicated just for school lunches (this is new this year!). Go ahead and wash everything and stick the ice packs in the freezer if they’re not already there. Oh, and don’t forget to label everything with your child’s name. Now everything you need to pack a lunch is ready for the first day your child needs a lunch.
- Now is also a good time to review the information in your parent handbook about what is allowed for lunch and what is not. Talk with your child about lunchtime at school. Let him/her help you decide what’s for lunch.
- If you haven’t done it yet, go ahead and go through your child’s clothes. Take out anything he/she can’t wear anymore and make yourself a list of what you might need to buy.
- It may be helpful to organize your child’s drawers or closet with seasonally appropriate, school appropriate clothes in the easiest to reach places. This is particularly helpful if you child dresses himself in the mornings and needs help remembering that, for example, the Star Wars shirt is not okay to wear to school.
- While you’re cleaning out the clothes, go ahead and pull out that spare set of clothes that will be left at school. Remember, put your child’s name on item. Then put it in a bag so it’s ready for the first day.
- Talk to your kids about what to expect when they arrive at school. This is especially important if your child is new to the school or tends to have anxiety about new or different situations. Be positive when you talk to him/her and be sure to tell emphasize that school is fun.
- We do allow parents to walk their child in on the first day. If you would like to do so, please park and walk them to the playground for Primary or classroom for Elementary. Let them know beforehand that you will walk them in, give them hugs and kisses, but then you must go. Assure them that you will be back to pick them up at noon. As soon as you see them engage with the other children, make your exit. If you want to watch them, do so from a vantage point where they will not see you. After the first day, we encourage you to drive through the carpool lane and let the teachers greet them and bring them in. We’ve had lots of practice and promise that if they have any separation anxiety, we will help them through it!
- Stage the things you will need for the first day of school in a place where you will see them, such as by the door. Go ahead and put them in the car if you need to. That means inside shoes, a full change of clothes and a water bottle – all clearly marked with your child’s name.
There you have it, a few reminders of what you can be doing now to make sure you and your child are ready for the first day. It’s going to be an amazing year at LifeSong. We’re so glad you’re joining us this year, and we can’t wait to see all the smiling faces on the first day.
Written by Kathy Lyles - Primary Co-Teacher