Ease Back-to-School Anxieties for a Smooth Start
Today is the first day of school for children in public schools in Wake and Durham counties as well as Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Many parents are feeling the pangs of separation as their kindergartners head off to their first experience of "real" school. For many kids, starting a new grade brings fears and anxieties as they wonder what lies ahead. Will they be able to adjust to new teachers and higher academic standards? Will they make friends easily? With whom will they eat lunch? Will they be able to get their stuff in and out of their lockers quickly enough to arrive at class on time. Will they get lost on the way there? Is their enough time to eat lunch?
Key to helping your children adjust to change is your maintaining a positive attitude, one of 6 Steps for a Smart School Start. Another way to ease transitions back to school is to start a tradition. Visit our Back-to-School Guide to see the simple ways parents find to mark the first day of school, like sharing the same meal or treat each year on the first day of school. (See Celebrate a New School Year with Special Traditions.) Another useful piece of advice is to figure out what were trouble spots from school last year-for example, finishing homework, or getting to school on time-and take some proactive action this year. (See Strategies for a Successful School Year.) If you have a child with special needs, you'll also find strategies for helping him or her acclimate to a new school year in Tips for Going Back to School With Special Needs.
The return to school also brings decisions about after-school activities: what kind and how many? Parents often opt out of after-school activities because they're worried their children won't be able to keep up with the demands of homework, but the taking part in extracurricular activities often bring academic, social and physical benefits. See Make Smart Choices for After-School Activities for details.
Visit our Back-to-School Guide for details on these issues and more. And see how you can post a comment in our newest blog for a chance to win back-to-school books, games and supplies.