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Back To School

A checklist for parents to help ease the transition from holidays to school time It's that time of year again.... it's time for the kids to go back to school. As the end of the summer holidays approaches, children experience mixed feelings about their return to school including anxiety, excitement, joy, fear and curiosity. Most parents are only too happy that the holidays have come to an end! ut they too may feel stressed at the thought of hectic mornings and balancing schedules. !or kids "ho are beginning kindergarten or middle school or moving to a ne" school, there's the challenge of a totally ne" environment. ut even for those returning to the same school, there are ne" teachers, ne" books, ne" expectations and perhaps ne" classmates to "orry about. #ome very young children also experience separation anxiety after being "ith their parents so much during the holidays. HERE'S HOW TO HELP GET O!R "H#L$ O%% TO A GOO$ START&

Ackno'led(e and empathise $ith the mixed emotions your child may be experiencing. #he is probably at least a little excited by the prospect of beginning school again. %ejoice "ith her over all the friends she "ill meet, the ne" teachers and the "onderful experiences she "ill encounter in the coming year. &o"ever your child is probably nervous too. 'hat's normal and should be expected. (ou may "ant to share some of the things you yourself "orried about "hen you "ere a child. Note: If your child thoroughly dreads the idea of going back to school, ho"ever, something is "rong. )o" is the time to talk to him about his fears. 'here may be strong academic, social or even safety concerns. *ontact your child's teacher as soon as possible. A WEE) BE%ORE S"HOOL BEG#*S& Set yo+r alarm clock, About a "eek before school starts, get your child to start going to bed at his school+night bedtime and "ake up at the regular time. &e needs to start doing this days ahead because it takes time to adjust to a ne" schedule. Or(anise the home, ,et your child to organise her desk and "orkspace to prepare for home"ork. B+y School S+pplies, uy "hatever is needed for school + pencil+box, "ater bottle, lunch box, crayons, pencils etc, and see that the schoolbooks are covered. Most kids enjoy doing this and look for"ard to taking them to school on the first day. Take a School To+r, If your child is going to a ne" school, see if it is possible to take her around the school and find the classroom, canteen, bathroom and other places she needs to kno". THE $A BE%ORE S"HOOL STARTS )eep "lothes Ready the night before. &ave your child keep out his uniform, shoes and socks the night before. 'his "ill help him start off the morning on a calm, predictable note. 'his is a habit to be encouraged through the year. Pack the School Ba(, *hildren also fear forgetting their books, pencils, money or other things they need for school. Make sure you establish a routine that re-uires your child to pack her book bag every night before she goes to bed. Send a family photo, .for younger children/ #end a photo of your family or a reassuring note in your child's bag or lunch box for the first "eek to help him cope "ith separation anxiety. O* THE %#RST $A O% Wake yo+r child +p early so that she is not rushed and has time to eat a good breakfast. S"HOOL

Take the School B+s, 0on't drive your child to school on the first day if he normally takes the school bus. habits form very -uickly.

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As parents you can set the tone for a successful transition to the ne" class. *hances are the school year "ill be a little less frantic and, hopefully, more successful.