Prepare Students to Be School Ready

Students might grouse and complain about their new routine, but parents can guide them to have a better attitude by having a positive one themselves.[i]  ― Cindy Hosea  

August means my grandchildren will soon say good-bye to summer vacation and hello to a new school year. Staying up late and sleeping in shift to early morning wake-ups and earlier bedtimes. This year two of the grands are in grade school, one is a junior higher, two are high school students, and another one heads into her third year at the university.

Students of all ages can experience feelings of stress as the transition draws near

They will adjust quicker if the planning for the first day of the new school year is done at least two to three weeks in advance. Prolonging school readiness until the day before could lead to heightened anxiety for both the parent and the child, resulting in angry outbursts and tears.

Parents who prepare children for the new school year lessen anxiety

Parents who prepare children to be school ready through positive family discussions fare better than those who wait until the last minute. The first time locker user might be anxious about remembering how to open the locker or get to it quick enough between classes. The child who is changing schools might be concerned about being accepted and building new friendships.

School clothes: Budget and fashion trends determine what to buy

Discuss a realistic budget for the clothing. Older students will be more insistent on having peer look-alike wardrobes. Be aware of current fashion trends. Which ones are okay and which ones are not? For example, is it okay to buy jeans that bare a lot of skin or should jeans not have holes? Young people want to know why a fashion trend is or isn’t lining up with a parents likes and dislikes. Family values need to be explained in a positive light so children know the boundaries parents expect when it comes to clothing purchases.

Be up front about spending limits to curb whining. Children adapt when the truth about the family’s finances is shared openly. Name brands are okay but not all clothing has to be bought new. Thrift shops sell quality stuff; some items even have new price tags attached.  Shoppers often find gently used clothing for a fraction of the original price.

School supplies: What is needed

Get a school supply list for each student’s grade level by mid-August. The lists are found on the school’s website or at local merchants. A second grader list will differ from a sixth grader. Junior high and high school students have special needs, too.

Include your child in school ready decisions

Share the decision making processes. Students use what they choose. And they’ll learn to buy smart and make good choices. Things like pens, pencils, and paper might be found around the house. Last year’s backpack can possibly be reused.

Parents are busy, but God has tasked moms and dads with the holy opportunity to prepare children for life. This applies to the new school year. This is a disciple-making task.

Don’t put off talking about the new school year even if it seems like squeezing every last ounce of fun out of summer might be more interesting. The rewards are boys and girls who start the school year happy, not anxious. They look forward to, and don’t dread, going to school each day because they’ve been well prepared for the challenge.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6