This is an exciting time for students, families and teachers as they look forward to new classes, activities and friends. In upcoming columns, teachers share tips to help pupils become a team that cooperates, focuses and creates a pleasant environment for learning. Teachers need families to help more than ever.
Families may want to pick a few tips at a time and have short conversations to help young children prepare. Role-playing some of the tips below can be fun for the whole family, as long as, everything is kept light. The goal is to HELP, not create concern or more anxiety.
Plan a healthy breakfast together and bring a nutritious snack for mid-morning. If children aren’t hungry when they first wake up, give them some water, milk or juice and bag some dry cereal, toast or cheese to munch.
This helps reduce a mid-morning grouchy/tired sugar low. Children can help make a list for shopping and learn to be a detective for healthy and unhealthy ingredients by reading labels.
Send a lunchtime happy note several times a week on a paper towel/napkin. Include a photo of the family and pet for the desk.
Experts suggest young children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Otherwise, by Friday there can be a large sleep deficit. Sunday nights are especially important or Monday mornings will be tough for everyone.
How much time is needed to dress before breakfast and travel to school?
It’s a good idea to begin adjusting bedtimes now to approximate the new schedule. Have several trial runs and add 10 minutes.
Together choose and set out clothes, backpack with notes and assignments, shoes (often a frustration) and weather-appropriate outerwear the night before to avoid rushing and family stress.
Practice saying something nice to send the family members on their way in the morning. Attitude is important.
Say “Hi” with a smile to the bus or carpool driver and others you meet.
At school, hang up clothing and follow other school/classroom procedures.
Walk and use an “indoor” voice in school, and open doors for adults and others.
What exciting things will your children learn today?