A few weeks before elementary school begins, remind your child that school will be starting, and pay attention to your child’s reactions, says LSU AgCenter family and child development expert Dr. Linda Robinson.
Reactions may range from excitement to nervousness to disappointment. “Reassure your child that his or her emotions, especially anxiety, are normal,” Robinson says.
Help your child prepare by shopping together for school supplies, visiting the new classroom or getting your child together with some of the children who will be in his or her class (especially if your child will be with a new group of children).
Get back on schedule. Begin adjusting your child’s sleep schedule a couple of weeks before school starts. Children vary in their need for sleep, but most school-aged children need 10-11 hours of sleep each day.
Plan out a school-day routine. Before school starts, practice the morning and evening routines that your child will have during school, especially getting dressed, planning for lunch and getting to school.
Adjust to the academics. Help your child prepare for the learning environment by maintaining or refreshing learning skills, such as reading with your child or practicing spelling or math problems.
Give it time. Change is always an adjustment for people, young and old alike. Allow a couple of weeks for your child to settle into the new school routine, but talk with the teacher if you think your child may be having difficulty adjusting.
Editor: Mark Claesgens
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture