Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday's Tips and Tricks-- Back to School

Top 10 Back to School Jitters and Easy Solutions
Are your kids coming down with a bad case of back to school jitters?

Here are our kid-tested cures for the top 10 school worries!

By: Kit Bennett and the Bennett kids

1. New Classmates
Your attitude is everything. Share from?your personal experience
of making new friends.
"A new room?of classmates is like going into a mansion
with several doors. Open each door and see what's inside.?
You may find a treasure of friend!"

2. New Teachers
Try to schedule a brief introduction time with?the teacher a few days
before school starts. Often just seeing the teacher and the room will ease concerns. Speak positively about the new class and the exciting year ahead. Your enthusiasm will give them positive outlook.

3. Being Prepared

Some children worry about having all of the supplies they need to get through the day. Enlist your child in?the planning for the first day of school?this gives a sense of control and independence. Organize supplies, clothing, lunch money and snacks the night before school to ensure a smoother start to the day.

4. Getting Lost
It is extremely comforting for younger students to visit their new school ahead of time in order to see their new classroom, or walk down the school's hallways before the hustle and bustle of the first day. Many schools provide a day during registration or the week before. Call your school office to make arrangements.

5. The Bathroom
You can help by making sure your child knows where the bathrooms are located, how to take care of his/her bathroom needs independently (leave the zippers, snap leotards and more complicated jumpsuits in the drawer).
If your child expresses concern about meeting up with new,
or older children, help develop and practice brief responses to any comments or inquiries she might encounter. Practicing social situations ahead of time is always a great way to develop confidence and problem-solving skills.?

6.Making the Grade
Children can "stress-out" about the workload or the increasing level of difficulty of a new grade.?

Reminders of academic and or personality strengths are in order here.
Let your child know you and the teacher are there to assist and encourage their efforts. Being assured of parental support during successes as well as failures can aid a child's overall academic performance and develop trust.
Stress the importance of excellent efforts instead of grades,?
and the value of learning as opposed to "performing".
If the fear of failure exists from past performance, provide appropriate support systems: tutoring, extra study time or special placements.

7. Lunchtime
Children come up with cafeteria worries that you never thought of....
How will I pay for my lunch? - Where will I sit?
What if I don't finish...or don't like the food.
First tip- Send in a lunch from home as long as you need to.
Be sure to pack food your child likes and in packages he/she can open---
One year, in an attempt to be earth friendly, I bought several reusable containers that?my youngest could not open; poor thing went hungry the first two days.
Before the first day of school, ensure that your child's little hands can tackel chip or cracker bags, juice containers, sandwich boxes etc.
Cafeteria Aides may not be able to assist them.
- When they are acclimated to their new dining arrangements
they may show interest in buying lunch.

Although I hate to admit it....this matters to kids---
especially in the older grades.?
Before shopping, go through catalogs and magazines to
get?an idea of what your child wants to wear. Encourage?independent style and self expression.?Working as a team in this area can be frustrating,
but if your child likes their wardrobe---everyone is happier.?
And don't forget to refer to your school dress-code regulations.

9. Scheduling
Address concerns about dropping off, picking?up and after school plans clearly and repeatedly. Older "latch- key" students should practice the routine before school begins. Middle school students who worry about changing classes, lockers etc. may only need a few reminders that everyone is?in the same boat. Most schools have a couple of days for practice.

10. Getting To and From School
Have you ridden on a school?bus lately???
It can be overwhelming to say the least!??
The noise, "big-kids" and confusion combine to make riding the bus a?very
common fear for younger students. Especially very young students, who cannot even see out the window to ensure they are at the right stop. There are several solutions to this dilemma:
-First decide how important it is for your child to take?the bus.
Many students get a ride until second grade.
- Drive the route several times before school starts.
- Obtain the bus number from your district office before school starts.
Practice this number ahead of time.
- Invite the neighbors to have a picnic at the bus-stop.
- Listen to your child....if they are frightened, address the problem
with the bus-driver and supervisor.?
On a Personal Note...
When my son began first grade he was so excited about the bus ride.
It took a week for the novelty to wear off. Soon he was arriving home
with complaints of headaches, stomach aches and getting bullied
by "big-kids"
Although his driver was a caring fella' he simply could not drive safely
in addition to addressing the needs of every child. Complaints from my son increased and soon he "hated" school in general. After talking to his teacher we realized it wasn't the school day, but the bus-ride.?His teacher very
gently asked my husband and me,
"Is it necessary for him to ride the bus?"
Well ....DUH! - of course not - Problem Solved!
For the remainder of the year, I provided rides not only for him but several other kids in in class as well.
It simply wasn't worth ruining his academic attitude.

Find more great resources at AMAZING MOMS

1 comment:

April Cluck said...

Just a few suggestions to add to your list for middle school and high school students.

Let your students know that you have expectations for them, their behavior, their academic performance, and their physical appearance. It will assure them that you care and that they aare still answerable to you.

Talk to you students about their schedule and make sure you know what classes they are taking, if you ask them about their classes you are placing a measure of accountability on them and they know that you are interested.

Make sure you know your school's dress code. Some dress codes are changed each year. Your student's school may not allow spaghetti straps or "holy" jeans which are in style and your student may get called out on their first day back.

Make sure your student has supplies. I couldn't believe how many students in middle and high school that don't bring even a pencil to class. School supplies are expensive, I know, but imagine how much a teacher spends to try to supply all of their students with the supplies they need for their classes. They may have 20+ kids in a class.

There are many other things that I learned about kids when I moved to a public high school. I think that once kids get into middle school they are kind of left to their own devices and parents think that the kids have got it down since they've been in school for 6 or 7 years already; but middle school is way different that elementary and high school is even more different than middle school. These kids still need support and parental interaction to be successful.