Time for School!

Getting your elementary school children ready for school after a long summer vacation takes planning—but it's fun, too!

By Jo Ann Sheldon and Norma J. Heller


Back-to-school sales begin in August and although the summer sun still shines, it's time to prepare your children for the return trip to the classroom.

Making an Easy Transition
If your child is going to school for the first time or changing schools, schedule a visit to the school. Arrange playdates so that your child will know a few other children on the first day.

Make changes in your daily routines: earlier bedtimes or rising times, more structured suppers, and cutting back on lazy television habits.

Find the bus stop and watch the local paper for the schedules. Walk the route if your children are walkers. If they will ride their bike, determine that route and discuss safety.

Their Environment
Help your child arrange his or her home desk. Buy a new lamp or some desk equipment to generate excitement. Replenish last year's supplies of pencils, paper, and markers and keep them handy.

Parents Make the Rules
Establish ground rules regarding friends coming over after school. Do your children need permission or may they bring anyone home anytime? Make sure everyone is clear on this.

Discuss with your kids how they will schedule chores when they have homework and after-school activities. Go to FamilyTime Calendar.

Set up systems for missed buses, lost house keys, and forgotten homework assignments and lunch boxes.

New Clothes and Suppliesd
Allow your child to pick out what he or she will wear on the first day of school. Listen to what they want and then help them make sensible choices.

Wait until school starts to buy most supplies. Even in the early grades, teachers may have specific requests.

Health Forms
Call early for an appointment for a physical examination with the pediatrician or clinic.

Schools send medical forms that must be completed before the first day of school. Make sure your child has all necessary vaccinations. Fill out any forms your child needs for special medical care.

Provide the school with the names and telephone numbers of family members or friends to call in an emergency. Go to FamilyTime Address Book.