Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Top 10 Back to School Tips

Top 10 Back to School Tips
It’s hard to believe that it is already that time of year again – back to school! To help you and your little ones prepare for a successful school year, here are ten great tips to help you prepare, shop, and stay safe.

Important paperwork: Before school starts, all children must register. Most schools will require immunization documents and other paperwork for your child to attend school. Make sure to contact the school or visit their website so you know ahead of time what you will need to register your child for school – especially if they’ll be attending a new school or district.

Meet the teachers: Regardless of how old your child is, it is always a good idea to meet their teachers before school starts. This will help you build a relationship with them which will help support your child’s development and learning over the next year. Most schools have a planned time for parents to meet the teachers. Check your child’s school calendar for more information.

Shop early! Most department stores have a ton of back to school supplies available starting in July. However, if you wait until too long, you might find yourself left with little to choose from or miss out on the good deals. Don’t wait to the last minute!

Have a shopping plan: Before you pile the kids in the car to head out shopping, create a plan. You’ll need to know what they need for clothes, shoes, supplies, etc. Go through your child’s closet first to see what fits, what does not. If you have an older child, perhaps those clothes can be passed down. Call the school ahead of time (or visit their website) to see what supplies they will need for their classes. Making a list of what each child needs will help avoid over-spending and impulse shopping!

Choosing a backpack: Not all backpacks are the same and choosing one that fits your child appropriately is important. A good backpack should have wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Organize the backpack the week before school starts. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight.

Create a school calendar: Most schools will have the entire year of events available in a calendar before the first day of school. Post a copy of this calendar (or make your own family calendar) somewhere it is easy for the whole family to see. This will help everyone stay on track and avoid missing important dates or unnecessary stress from last minute planning.

Have a safety plan: You and your child should know the route to school, whether they are riding the bus, walking or riding their bike. Have a safety plan! Teach your child what to do in the event of an emergency especially if a stranger approaches them. Have a backup plan if they accidently miss the bus – and have a schedule or routine they should follow when they get home from school.

Preparing for the first day: During the summer, children tend to stay up later and their schedules need to be reminded what it is like to get up for school. It’s a great idea to get your child back in the routine about a week before school starts. Get them back in the habit of going to bed at a set time and waking up at the time they would need to for school. The night before schools starts, make sure their backpack is ready, clothes are picked out, lunch is packed and they get plenty of rest for the big day!

How to avoid bullying: Bullying is a real threat for some children. Teaching your child how to avoid bullying is the best way to prevent this from happen.
  • Teach your child when and how to ask for help
  • Support activities that your child is interested in
  • Make sure your child knows that bullying is never acceptable
  • Be a positive role model – teach them by being a good example
  • Teach your child how to deal with a bully with confidence.
Have fun! Ultimately these are the years that your child will remember for the rest of their life. School can be fun too! Stay involved with your child’s educational activities, homework and who they are spending time with during and after school. Taking an active role in their school life will help you and your child create memories that both of you will cherish!

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