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Monday, August 4, 2014

Are You Ready for School?

School days are upon us. Parents, are you ready? Probably not, and most of us are wondering what happened to our summer break. We didn’t get to do all of the cleaning that we had planned or finish any of the incomplete projects that we started last school year, yet, still it is time for school to begin again. Although you are not ready, here are some tips to help get your child’s school year off to a great start.

Begin the bedtime routines now. Do not wait until the week that school starts, or else you and your child will be fatigued and frustrated. Establish the bedtime, determine what the rituals will be, and stick to them. Bedtime rituals may include taking a shower/bath, reading a bedtime story, saying a prayer, laying out the clothes for the next day, or just having a relaxing conversation with your child. Whatever your routine, now is the time to implement it.

Make sure that your child knows and understands the drop-off and pick-up process for before and after school. Become familiar now with the bus stop and find out the times that your child has to be there and what time she will arrive there in the afternoon. If your child is a Kindergarten student, know that an adult has to accompany the child to and from the bus stop; otherwise, your child cannot be picked up or dropped off at the stop.

If your child is a car rider, make sure that your child and the school are aware of those individuals who can and will pick up your child. In case the pick up will be late, make sure that your child’s school has good telephone numbers for you as well as those who might be picking her up. And if your telephone number changes during the school year, make sure that the school is one of the first places that you make aware of the change.

Finally, go over other important information with your child. Make sure that your Kindergarten student knows her given name and not just her nickname. Even if students cannot read or write their names, they need to know what their name is (first and last names, please). They should also know your full name, how to reach you, and their address. Our children need to be informed and ready to face the world with as much information about themselves as they can possibly have when returning to school.

Getting ready for school is rarely an easy task, but it is one that we must face every year. It is a time of excitement and wonder for our children, and a time of loads of preparations and work for parents. Taking these small steps can help make that workload lighter for parents who are juggling both children and schedules and can ease the fatigue and frustration of going back to school. Here’s to an awesome school year!

Veda Pendleton McClain is a mother, grandmother, author, and educator. She recently released her second book on parenting titled, Your Presence Is Requested. It is available through or at .


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