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Even though my wife and I have no children left at home, back-to-school preparation remains a top priority every year as summer wanes. My wife is currently a second grade teacher. While she has also done stints as an assistant principal, as a reading recovery specialist, she spent most of the past 20 years hands-on in a classroom of young students.
Parents and students tend to focus their back-to-school efforts on stocking up on school supplies and buying clothes. Parents - especially those with young children - should instead focus their attention on things that will ensure the safety and security of their children at the beginning of a new school year and help them have a positive back-to-school experience.
Here are some recommendations from an experienced teacher and from other expert sources like WebMD.com:
1. Have children memorize important phone numbers and names.
In an era when data is stored on phones and tablets, even adults often don’t know basic information that might be important in an emergency.
2. Fill out those emergency contact sheets immediately.
They are usually sent out before the start of school or handed out on the first day. Give complete information including cell phone numbers and email addresses. Those first few days of class are hectic. Invariably, there is a student with a problem and no way to reach a parent because the sheet has not been turned in yet.
3. Attend back-to-school events.
These are good times to meet teachers and other school officials. With so many new children and new faces, it is not the time to try to corner the teacher to discuss your child’s special needs or issues.
4. Establish routines.
A couple weeks before the start of school, set regular times for going to bed and for waking up and getting dressed. Establishing the schedule in advance will minimize the chance for a meltdown on the first day of class.
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