Vol 4, August 1, 2017

By Stephen Stokes • News • Aug 3rd, 2017

Dear Parents, 

Summer is gone! Here it is August and we are only 20 days from welcoming our students back into our classrooms.
The big news has not happened yet. Many have asked if our grant money has any news, the answer is not yet. No news is good news right? I am sure that whatever God has in store for us is greater than what we could plan. 

Student supply lists are on the website : 

We have an added event in August. This will be an orientation meeting with every family. We need at least one of your family there at this orientation. You will receive important information for the year. Handouts and school updates. This is not the open house where we all meet the teachers and spend me in the classrooms. This is a meeting between families and administration. Please do anything it takes to be there at this all important meeting. 

With the start of school there is a whole bucket full of things each of our families have to do. I have a list of ideas and ps that might help ge ng back in the school groove a little easier. Enjoy! 



1. Connect with friends. A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents
from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year.

2. Tool up. Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help him feel pre-
pared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These School supply lists also provide great insight into the schoolwork ahead. Get your child excited about upcoming projects by ex- plaining how new supplies might be used.

3. Avoid last-minute drilling. When it’s almost time to stop playing, give a five-minute warning. Giving clear messages to your child is very important.

4. Chat about today’s events and tomorrow’s plans. While it is important to support learning throughout the summer, don’t spend the last weeks of summer vacation reviewing last year’s curriculum. All kids need some down time before the rigors of school begin. For some kids, last-minute drills can heighten anxiety, reminding them of what they’ve forgotten instead of what they re- member.

5. Ease into the routine. Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first- day-of-school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother.

6. Try a dry run with role-playing. “Acting out what's going to happen on the first day is my favorite tip. It's fun for everyone, and it helps eliminate some of the uneasiness about the unknown. Drive/walk the route you'll take in the morning, and once you're there, everyone can take a turn being the teacher, the child, and even a new friend. This is a great tool to teach empathy as well!”

7. Prepare kids psychologically for what the morning routine will be like. “When your children are younger, talk often to them about what the next step is. For early elementary, the last day of school was a loooong time ago and each school year is different. Don’t assume they’re going to be quick to adjust to the new routine. If your summer mornings were lazy and unstructured (i.e. TV or electronics before breakfast), being rushed to get dressed, eat and being shoved out the door might be an unpleasant shock to their system. I mean, starting school is a shock to my system, too, but I kind of know the routine.”

8. Remember that “the night before can make the morning bearable" — and less anxiety-inducing — for you, Mom and Dad. Make sure the backpacks are packed with whatever they’re supposed to be packed with, that lunches are made and in the fridge and that school clothes are laid out. Put the shoes and socks by the front door so there’s zero drama over misplaced foot- wear that involves a yelling mom and tearful kids No one likes that. If your kids eat breakfast at home, you can save yourself a few minutes by setting the table for breakfast.

9. On the first day of school, say a quick goodbye. As tempting as it is to give a few extra hugs, or chat with the other moms in the class, try to keep the goodbyes as quick as possible. Lingering can send mixed messages to your son/daughter, and you want them to feel your confidence, not your hesitation.”

10. Parents, it really is OK to cry. “Parenting is such an all-encompassing job. Each stage feels monumental because it is. It’s amazing to see our children grow up — it’s what our job is all about. But each new step they take in their lives, whether it’s eating with a fork or going off to college, is one more step away from us. I think that deserves a tear or two. My one piece of advice to parents this fall: Stock up on the good tissues.” 

11. Transitions can take time, so be patient. Young children can struggle to adapt to new environments or new social situations and in these moments I plan to refrain from placing a focus on what is not happening and emphasize what is unfolding in front of me. This year I will accept each transition for what it is: a transition. Our children need our support in different ways at differ- ent times and our goal will be to truly listen to their needs and guide them as best we can in each part of the journey. There are a number of important skills and life-lessons that come out of each hurdle and our focus will be on how we accomplish the goal, not on the ways the goal has yet to be achieved.” 

12. On your first day alone, stay busy! If you stay home, plan on running errands or doing something to get out of the house. There is nothing worse than coming home to an empty house so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Psssst! No one is going to judge you if you put on Disney Channel just to have a familiar noise running in the background. If you have younger children, this is their time! Think of it as their ‘only child’ time they never had before. 


In Gratitude, 

If you would like a copy of this article, download the PDF version here: Vol 4, August 1, 2017

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