Are You First Day Ready?
In our family, getting school supplies and new uniforms can be exciting and fun, but also builds anticipation for that first day back. We can't wait to meet the new teachers and what classes my son will be taking. He's more excited about seeing his friends again!
For kids, the stress of the new school year can be a little different than what we experience as parents. Did you know that one in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia? Children with these types of challenges – many of whom have never been formally diagnosed – can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers, and schools.
As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. The Ad Council and Understood.org have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. Understood.org is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. Understood.org is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.
My son will be in the 7th grade this year and the guide was so helpful in getting him on track and excited for the new year
These back-to-school tips from the Understood.org website are an invaluable resource for getting on track and starting the year off on the right foot. They helped my family; hopefully, they can help yours too.
Planning early is important to help relieve stress. Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars, and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. I felt like the Backpack Checklist, and sample Homework Contract were the most helpful. My son has always been terrible at telling about his homework so the Contract will definitely come in handy. Also, making sure he has everything in his back pack ready for that first day is essential! He can't succeed if he doesn't have the tools needed to do the work.
You can also take your child on a school tour to help ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school. This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.
Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year. This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students. You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.
Finally, get support! Many parents and students are going through the same experience. Understood.org and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.
So, no matter your child’s age or needs, this Back-to-School season can be a seamless transition and positive experience for both you and your children!
If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, Understood.org is a great place to start.
All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.