I cannot believe that one week from today, the children will be heading back to school and summer will officially be over.
Back to school time is always a very emotional time for me. I remember the nerves that escaleted within me, when I was a child, during the month of August as school approached. Then, when I became a teacher, those nerves turned into an anxious excitement. I never sleep the night before school, to this day! And now, as a parent, the nerves and anxiousness has taken on a completely new feel.
My daughter will be heading into grade three this year. I cannot believe how much she has grown. She is finally feeling rather confident about going back to school, but it has been a LONG four years to get to this point (we have JK and SK if you were struggling with the math!). This year, while she does have a few worries, they are not major and they have not taken over her summer, whereas in the past, the month of August has been quite a challenge.
My son will heading to school full time for the first time this fall. While I have no doubt that after the first day of school, his transition should be ok, it is the full day, every day aspect that has me worried. My son still naps. Yes, at the age of 4, almost 5, he continues to require a nap many days in order to make it through the day.
We have started to cut out his naps and each day, he is progressively getting more and more tired. I’m hoping that by the time next week rolls around, his body will be more accustomed to this new routine. Last year, when he was only every other day, I had to meet him at the bus with a snack because he was literally exploding after school and I learned that I could hold off his explosions (at least until we got in the house) with food. This year, I anticipate that I might be carrying him off of the bus. Only time will tell.
- Start getting your children into routine NOW, the week before school.
- Have your children practise opening and closing lunch containers and bags.
- Think about your system for after school (e.g. where will they put their bag, their lunch, their school work, important notes etc.)
- Label everything!
- Have sunscreen ready to put on your child’s face before they head off to school, the sun can still be strong this time of year and most children will spend an hour during “prime time” out in the sun.
- For younger children, pick out an older outfit that you can send to school as their “back up outfit”.
If your child is feeling overly anxious about heading back to school, you could take them for a “walk through” at the end of this week where you pretend when they wake up that it is the first day of school. You go through the same morning routine, right up to taking them to school and walking up to the door that they will go inside on the first day of school. For some children, this walk through is enough to calm their nerves and reassure them that everything will be ok.
I have written a few posts about children entering Kindergarten in the past. As a former Kindergarten teacher and now a mother to a Kindergarten student, I have a lot to share…
Kindergarten Parents Support Group
Getting Ready for Full Day Kindergarten
Preparing for Kindergarten – Part 1
Preparing for Kindergarten – Part 2
A Kindergarten Visit – Who Needs More Preparation, Mom or Child?
For all NEW Kindergarten Moms and Dads, This is For YOU!
Back to School – Mommy, I Don’t Want to Go