Friday, August 5, 2011

Before School Starts…

By Shelly Burke, Editor

Whether your child needs crayons or a graphing calculator for the new school year, the following suggestions will make the start of a new year easier.

1. A new routine. After the more relaxed summer routine, it’s time to get back into the school routine. Determine what bedtime and getting-up time should be, and gradually adjust your kids’ schedule to those times. If your kids will walk to and/or home from school (or to a babysitter’s house) practice those routes.

2. Update calendars. Write down early outs, vacation days, sports and activity dates, and when pictures will be taken. This makes it much easier to plan your schedule accordingly. Encourage your kids to write down and tell you of important dates as they are scheduled.

3. Meet the teacher. Much of the anxiety of the first day will be dispelled if your child has met his or her teacher before school starts. This also gives you a chance to meet the teacher and tell her a little bit about your child, especially if he has any medical issues the teacher needs to be aware of. Call ahead to make sure the teacher is in the classroom and not in a meeting. If your child is new to the school, ask for a tour or take a few minutes to walk around and find the restroom and lunchroom.

4. In sickness and in health…If your child will be taking any medications at school, ask for the form you’ll be required to fill out, and do so before school starts. Ask about school policy; can your child keep medications with him or do they need to be kept in the office or nurse’s office? Any medications—non-prescription as well as prescription--will need to be in a labeled bottle. Be sure your child is clear as to when he should take or request the medications. If your child is entering kindergarten or 7th grade, make sure his or her immunizations are up to date.

5. Prayers. Begin praying about school issues before school starts. If your child is anxious about a new teacher, new school, or new classes, pray together for him to feel God’s presence. Recite and write down reassuring verses like Philippians 4:5. Your child can keep the verses in a notebook or his backpack.

As well as praying with your children, pray for your children. Also pray for the teachers, administrators, and other students. If you have a close relationship with your child’s teacher, ask what he or she would like you to pray for. Consider joining, or starting, a prayer group to pray specifically for issues related to the school.

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