- PREPARE YOUR KIDS!
2. READ SOME BOOKS
There are many great books that talk about going off to school for the first time or going back to school. Read a few of these books with your kids in the days and weeks leading up to school to help them with their fears and anxiety. ALL of these are available on Amazon or in your local library!
In this story, the little girl is beginning kindergarten and she is afraid. The books talks about what she is afraid of, shows why she ends up having a great time, and that her brother was able to help her!
This book helps with kids facing separation from their parents for the first time. The ideas inside will reinforce the ideas in my first section about giving your kiddos something to remind them that you are always there with them.
Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn't want to start over at a new school. She doesn't know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending.
Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. "Worry, worry, worry," her family said. "Too much worry." And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!
3. SCHOOL SUPPLIES
It's a great idea to have your child help when picking out their school supplies. Whether they need everything from crayons to notebooks or only a new backpack, bring the kiddos to the store and get them involved with picking out their loot. Then, once you get it home let them help get it all packed up and ready for the 1st day. This will help to generate excitement about what is coming and will also allow them to feel like they have control of something.
6. BE ORGANIZED
Mornings can be a real pain! Trying to get everyone ready and out the door can be pretty stressful. I find that planning ahead and getting everything ready the night before can make the morning run so much more smoothly. I set out my son's outfit (he doesn't care what he wears yet), my outfit, and pack up our bags. I pack our lunches and get breakfast ready to go. My mornings are pretty smooth and I like it that way! I also wake up early enough that I can get myself completely ready, then I get my son up. I get him up early enough that he has some time to wake up and eat a little breakfast. We both function much better if we don't have to get up and rush out the door. Do whatever works best for you, this is just what works for us!
7. PLAN FOR EXTRA TIME
The first few days of a new routine are tough. If you plan a little extra time in the morning it can really help. In case your child spills something on their shirt and you have to change it, you should have a few extra minutes planned so you aren't going to be late. It always happens like that during the first week, so if you make time for these little things, you are prepared and not stressed out.
8. PLAN A SPECIAL TREAT
When you pick them up or they get dropped off on that special first day, greet them with a special "1st Day of School Treat"! This can be anything from a specially made cupcake to a new sticker book. Whatever will be special for your kiddo. You can then make this a 1st day of school tradition every year, one that they can look forward to.
9. BEGIN CHORES
Once school has started, it is a great time to begin a chore chart for your kids. They need to feel like productive and responsible members of the family. By giving them daily chores, it will help to reinforce manners, responsibilities, and understanding of being part of a family. Young children can have very simple chores, such as "wiping the table" after meals. You will most likely have to redo it, but give them the opportunity to be helpful. Trust me, starting this now will make it much easier to continue as they get older instead of trying to start chores once they are older and don't really want to be helpful anymore!
Have a great first week! Once you have all gotten into the routine, it will get easier.