A Back-to-School Checklist for Families

The first day of school can bring jitters to students and families alike. There are many things that can be done to help make the back-to-school transition easier. When you, as a parent, interact with and support your children, your children are more likely to be successful.

You can help younger children if they know:
Their name, address, and phone number
How to take outer clothing on and off
How to take care of their basic toilet needs
How to be patient and wait their turn

Before their first day:
Establish a bed routine that ensures adequate rest
Have children spend time one-on-one and in small groups with other children their age
Help your children learn letters, numbers, colors, and shapes
Read to your children daily
Let your children learn by trying new activities
Practice the route they will take to and from school
Talk about making friends and doing new activities
Visit you child's school and classroom if possible

For older students, let them know you are interested:
Talk to your children about friends, classes and activities
Teach your children how to set goals
Encourage them to be involved in extracurricular activities at school, church, and in the community
Give them opportunities to try new skills and earn recognition for a job well-done
Plan with them how they will budget their time

As a parent, it is recommended that you:
Establish definite times and location for homework
Append parent-teacher conferences
Join the school's PTA
Keep the school calendar handy
Volunteer - opportunities are expanding for working parents, too!
Stay informed about school events
Serve on a school or district advisory committee
Get to know your children's friends
Teach your children how to say "no" to peer pressure
Make sure all parties have adult supervision
Place guidelines on your older children's work schedules

Reprinted from Insights for Parents.

© 1996 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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