As we continue to enjoy our summer months, I am quickly reminded of the importance of being ready for the upcoming back to school transitions. One of the most important end of summer activities is transitioning to preschool or kindergarten. This is a time when new people are entering into your child’s life and routines are changing and you may not be there to guide your child through the daily tasks of school. In our last newsletter we offered some helpful tips to get your children prepared and confident to begin the school year, but now that your child has begun school, how can you support him/her?
I encourage you to attend to the growth and development of your child by being actively involved in their educational journey. This includes maintaining a healthy home life of consistent routines and making time to catch up on one another’s day, as well as, fostering a healthy relationship between you and your child’s teacher and school. Here are a few things you can do to stay engaged with your student’s growth and development as he or she continues in school:
- Breakfast/Snack/Lunch – it is important to prepare and eat breakfast with your child every day. It is also important to prepare lunch and healthy snacks for them to have during the school day. According to Dr. Schneider, “Study after study shows that kids who eat breakfast function better. They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy.” (Healthy Children Magazine 2009)
- Continue with schedules/routines – it is also important to maintain routines that are familiar to your child so that they will feel more secure with the recent transition to preschool or kindergarten.
- Volunteer in your child’s classroom and chaperone field trips – this is a hands-on way to observe the classroom environment and see what your child is learning at school. It is very important to share the excitement of school and new experiences with your child.
- Commitment to school creating relationships with other parents can be very helpful too. Start by volunteering in the classroom and also consider becoming involved in the school through joining the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or leading the Safety Patrol.
- Attend parent/teacher conferences – maintaining a healthy relationship and an open line of communication between you and your child’s teacher is important. This is a great way to show your child that you care about their learning as well.
- Help with Homework – “Homework” is most likely a new task for your little one. It is vital to offer your guidance to support them. Remember to be patient because topics may be new to both you and your child.
I hope that you find these back to school tips helpful. Hopefully you can apply one or more of these tips into your child’s daily preschool or kindergarten routine. May you continue to create some of the most special memories during this time while building the foundation for your child’s future academic success!