Preparing for the Upcoming School Year

Summer is winding down, and the stores are full of crayons, glue sticks, and pencils. My second grader is grabbing the school list and checking it twice. My preschoolers can’t read a calendar, but they feel something in the air (other than intense humidity). A little anxiety might be starting for students and moms, so here are a few things to expect when preparing for the next school year.

Physical:

  • Shoes – My kids haven’t worn shoes all summer, so we need to try them on and check fit. It would be a bad surprise if they slid on those sneakers for the first day of gym class and found their toes couldn’t lay flat.
  • Paperwork – If your school needs a copy of medical records or a physical, that needs to be found or scheduled as soon as possible. If it’s the final hour and your pediatrician is booked, check out the walk-in clinics at pharmacies for physicals.

Emotional:

  • All the new – When my oldest child started her second year of preschool, I was inundated with questions. “Where is my classroom?” “Will my friends be there?” “Will we still have snacks?” It was very hard for her to picture school in any way other than how it had been the first year. I told her some friends would be in her class and some wouldn’t, and there would be new friends. The routine would be similar. There would be snacks. Though these seem like obvious answers, to a small person encountering a new transition these are big deals. And these topics aren’t covered in one conversation. As the child is mentally processing the changes ahead, there will be multiple opportunities for reassurance as well as preparation for the new.
  • Return to routine – After the lazy days of summer, it might be a jarring return to the routine. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, kids may have a renewed twinge of sadness at the thought of leaving you. Even though they’ve done it before, that was forever ago in kid-time. A few reviews of the school-year routine ahead of time refreshes their memory (and helps the parents remember to set the coffee pot ahead).

Academic

  • The packet – In elementary school, the student typically has a packet of work to complete over the summer for a reward. You might have been awesome at pulling out the flashcards and sight words and knocking out some worksheets, but if you’re like us, the packet may have more blank pages than done. Their brains need to get warmed up, so pull out some rewards of your own and encourage your kids to tackle those final pages.

Fun:

  • Is there anything left on your summer bucket list? Put it on the calendar, but leave plenty of space for just chilling. With only a couple more weeks before the fall routine swings back in full force, we want to enjoy the extra time together and make some fun memories in the process. Easier said than done since the kids are all tired of playing with each other, and we’re hiding inside from the heat. But we can tackle this final stretch and be ready for the new adventures!

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