Transition Tips

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As the first day of school draws closer, you may begin to notice some anxiety in your child concerning returing to school - especially after the extended closure.  Below are some helpful tips to make the transition easier on them so they are ready to begin the year on a positive note.

  • Stay positive and get excited!  Keep the days leading up to the first day of school as positive as possible.  Talk about all the exciting things your child has to look forward to.  Encourage your child to talk about the new school year by asking questions such as “What are you excited about in second grade?”  Although sometimes difficult, try to avoid discussing your own concerns, uncertainties, or complaints about the upcoming school year in front of your child.
  • Adjust your expectations!  Start preparing children for the idea that school will look a little different this year and that these changes are to keep everyone safe and healthy. This is also a good time to discuss and practice healthy habits.
  • Connect with us!  Find ways to connect with your child’s teachers or another child from his/her new class.  Reconnect with friends from last year.  Participate in the back-to-school activities offered by the school/PTO.
  • Be prepared!  Make sure your child has the necessary supplies before the first day of school.  It may also be helpful to give your child some control with decisions like how to set up their workspace at home or what to bring for snack/lunch.
  • Stay informed!  Regularly monitor district and school communications so you and your child have a solid understanding of the routines and procedures for this year.  This can be overwhelming so do not be afraid to reach out to the school for support or clarification.
  • Rest up!  Ensure your child is well rested for the first day back.  If needed, start adjusting your child back to their school-year sleep schedule before the first week.
  • Stay calm!  Especially for the first day, the less chaos in the morning, the better!
  • Put your mind at ease!  Help your child make a list of concerns and work together to try and find the answers.  Remember, some questions may not have an answer just yet.  This is a great opportunity to model how to respond to uncertainties and changes with flexibility and an open mind.

Remember, making smooth transitions between home and school can help children feel good about themselves and more easily adapt to new situations.  Together, parents and school professionals share in the role of making children feel safe and secure as they move to their new educational settings.  Transitions are exciting opportunities for children to learn and grow!


Additional Resources:

How to Support Your Child for a Very Different School Year

Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents

Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips

How to Cope With Back-to-School Anxiety