· What will her daily schedule be like? What time does school begin and when does it end each day?
· Should your child bring a bag lunch and a snack to school, or are meals provided or does she have the option to purchase them? If lunch is scheduled relatively late, your child may want a larger morning snack.
· Are certain clothes required for physical education classes and recesses? Some parents forget that children go outdoors for recess, and in the winter that may mean hats, gloves, boots and maybe snow pants, even if the children do not need to wear them in the car or on the bus. Inquire as to whether your child should bring shoes to change into.
· If it is possible in your school district, visit the school with your child to see her new classroom and meet her new teacher before school officially starts.
Making the First Day Easier
Most children are anxious and excited on the first day of school each year. You can help make the day easier for your youngster by keeping the following guidelines in mind:
· Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. He will see old friends. He will meet new friends. Refresh his memory about previous years, when he may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because he had a good time.
· Remind your child that he is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will be making an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
· Review all your child's accomplishments from last year, and talk about the kinds of interesting things he will learn in the months ahead.
· Buy him something (perhaps a pen or pencil) that will remind him you are thinking of him while he is at school, or put a note in him lunch-box.
· Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will help resolve them. (If problems do occur, get involved as soon as possible.)
· Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus. If your child is older, have him offer to walk to school or wait at the bus stop with a new or younger child.
· If your child is not going to ride a school bus and you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with him) to school and pick him up the first day.
· Encourage him to look for new students in his classroom or in the playground, invite them to join the group for a game and ask them about their interests.
· After school, show your child some special attention and affection. Give him a hug and ask what happened at school. Did he have fun? Did he make any new friends? Does he need any additional school supplies (notebooks, rulers, erasers) that you can shop for together.
In addition to the suggestions listed above, your child may need some extra support if she is starting a new school. Here are some suggestions to make the transition easier.
· Talk with your child about her feelings, both her excitement and her concerns, about the new school.
· Visit the school with your child in advance of the first day. Teachers and staff are usually at school a few days before the children start. Peek into your child's classroom, and if possible, meet the teacher and principal. You might be able to address some of your child's concerns at that time. She may have no questions until she actually sees the building and can visualize what it will be like. (When you formally register your child in the new school, bring her immunization record and birth certificate; usually school records can be sent directly from school to school once you sign a "release of information" form.)
· Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day so they can get acquainted and play together, and so your child will have a friendly face to look for when school begins.
· Do not build up unrealistic expectations about how wonderful the new school will be, but convey a general sense of op