The school year 2020 is here. We live in Canada and are looking forward to a September 15 reopening. Today I will share my top 5 tips that we follow to help our son transition from summer to School every year.
Start following the school day routine
During summers we are tend to spend a lot of time outdoors or like this year at home with an electronic device. The wake-up hours and meal times are usually relaxed, while going to bed is often quite late. About two weeks before your child goes to school, it would be advisable to implement the school day routines in terms of wake-up and sleep times. Also, in our case, we have to even ration as well as schedule his meals according to the school recess and snack times. Our son gets very cranky if he is either hungry or sleepy and not too pleasant to be around. Thus this tip is the first thing that comes to mind.
Is your child going to go to school for the first time? A lot of kids even when toilet trained find it difficult to use school washrooms the first year. This is not just limited to kids with special needs. I have seen majority of kindergarten kids trying to avoid using the washroom to the utter dismay of their parents. I started taking my son to use the public washrooms whenever possible be it the library, coffee shop, shopping mall and even at my neighbour’s house when he is there on a playdate. He eventually got used to the loud noises made by the automatic flush as well as the hand air dryers in the mall washrooms. This ultimately helped him overcome his resistance at using the school washroom. At this point I must highlight that he is a child with special needs.
Clothes and school gear
We love to shop for our kids during the back to school store sale. While buying clothes it is very important to buy pants/ leggings that your child that easily pull on and pull down by themselves. Shoes need to be easy to wear. Fancy laces and zips might be difficult for every child. It would be sensible to use them a days in advance of actual school. This would also resolve the issue of any potential shoe bites. The same logic is true for backpacks and lunch bags. Water bottles with spouts and click on lunch boxes are also very handy and easy to use. My son loses his water bottle a number of times; hence we try not to spend too much on it.
Lunch for school
Have you noticed a difference in what your child eats at home and what he eats if given for school lunch? I certainly do. My son prefers certain easy to eat food items and in small quantities for school lunch. I always pack a chocolate milk or yoghurt for supplementing his main food. A few weeks before school, I start serving him food in his lunch box with utensils and napkins at the school lunch time. I try to encourage him to finish most of his food on time. My idea is to pack easy to eat food, fruits with a few crackers and drink as a backup.
Getting to Know your Child Form
Finally, I find this to be a great tool to convey certain keys facts about my child. It might be sometime before you get a chance to have a real discussion about your child with his teacher. Meanwhile, letting the teacher know their likes and dislikes and in my son’s case how to help him with transitions and calming strategies have always worked to my advantage. We should be very specific and share stuff that would help the teacher break the ice, engage my child and comfort him if needed. Detailed stories and anecdotes are best avoided at this stage. Also, for the ease of reference, it would be a good idea to include your correct contact information and email-id in this form, even though it might already be available with the school.
Related post with free printable pdf: Getting to know your child form/ questionnaire
There are numerous tips and ideas for easing the school reopening process. I chose to focus on these for today.
I understand given the ongoing pandemic situation you might be surprised that none of the points talks about safety measures, masks and social distancing. These questions are best addressed by the school boards and our respective government public service announcements.
I hope some of our ideas find a place in your lives. Good luck!