Tips for Making the Back-to-School Transition a Little Easier

August 26, 2015 Last Updated: August 28, 2015

It’s back to school for many Orange County students next week, a transition that can be stressful, exciting, scary or all of the above for both parents and children.

“We’re going to go back to a routine now,” said Kristy Bosland, a mother of two, who isn’t sanguine about the prospect. “I like to wake up when we want to wake up. I like to go to bed when we want to go to bed.”

Others are looking forward to that routine, and not having to find activities for their kids to do during the day.

“It helps her going to school,” said Brandi Ogden, who lives in New Hampton and whose daughter goes to school in Goshen.

For others, the start of school is bitter sweet.

“It’s sad because he is getting older, but at the same time it is good because it’s new experiences. He gets to meet new friends and further his education,” said Megan Fornera, the mother of a soon-to-be first grader at Otisville elementary.

To help ease the transition from summer to school, Epoch Times compiled some tips to make the first few days a little easier for everyone.

1.Getting on the school schedule

Probably one of the hardest adjustments for families used to sleeping in during the summer months is adjusting to early bedtimes and early mornings. Getting kids on an earlier schedule before school starts will ease the transition and give kids more energy to face the day.

  1. Getting to school

If your child takes the bus to school, check with your district’s transportation department to know when and where the bus will arrive. If you take your child to school, make sure they know what time they have to be out the door.

  1. Getting supplies

If there are school supplies your child needs to get, like pencils, textbooks, notepads, backpacks or clothing, get these supplies early so they have all the tools they need to succeed. Clothing and footwear worth less than $110 can be exempt from state taxes. Check http://on.ny.gov/1pF9BLu for more info. 

  1. Food

Whether your child takes lunch to school or buys it there, make sure they have enough food to last them through the day. Part of adjusting to the school routine is the difference in meal times. Make sure they get a good breakfast and have a enough food so they can focus on learning instead of when the next meal break is.

5. Fostering responsibility

For younger children who are learning to be independent, tell them what will be expected of them at school and help them learn the things they will need to know. A fun way to do this is by playing school with them, reading books about school, or by just talking about what school will be like.

For older children, they may need guidance on things like where to find their classes, how to read their school schedule or, if they drive, how to get to school and where to park.

6. Open houses

Many schools have open houses or orientations for new or first-time students. Check with your school to see if they have one your child can attend to become familiar with their teacher and classroom, and learn their way around.

  1. After school schedule

Have a plan for where your child or children will go after school, whether it is taking the bus home, staying for after-school activities, or going to a friend’s house. Make sure everyone knows the plan and that the child is has the things they need for whatever they are doing.

  1. Contingency plan

When a child gets sick or has to leave school all of a sudden, know how you are going to respond. Making a plan, whether it is contacting a babysitter, taking time off work, or calling friends or family to come pick them up, can help put parents at ease. 

  1. Medications

If your child or children take medication during school hours or need it in certain situations, make sure the school nurse is aware and all the medications are on hand if need be.

  1. Discuss feelings and questions

If your child has reservations or strong feelings about going back to school, talk them over. Answer any questions they might have about starting or going into the next grade, and don’t be afraid to approach their teacher with a list of questions if you don’t know the answer.

 11. Message of love

Writing a note of love and good wishes for their first day of school reminds children you are there for them during this time of transition. Some parents plan little surprises or treat their kids to something special to make the first day of school a positive experience.

Start Dates for Local Districts:

Minisink Valley Central School District Sept. 2,

Chester Union Free School District Sept. 2

Florida Union Free School District: Sept. 3

Goshen Central School District: Sept. 2

Enlarged City School District of Middletown: Sept. 2

Port Jervis City Central School District: Sept. 3

Pine Bush Central School District: Sept. 2

Washingtonville Central School District: Sept. 2

(Dates gathered from district websites)

To contact this reporter, email holly.kellum@epochtimes.com