Yes, we’re still picking up supplies and going back to school shopping, but from our little ones to our teens, consider how you can prepare together to have a successful year.
Before the First Day … Take advantage of orientation events. If there are in-person tours of your new school, it can alleviate stress for you and your little ones (or pre-teens headed into middle school … or teenagers headed into high school!) If there aren’t any in-person events before Day 1, check online for virtual tours, YouTube videos, and other remote chances to meet up with teachers and counselors via school social media pages.
A morning routine … Packing the night before can be a great help if you often find yourself in a time-crunch in the morning. Also, consider creating a morning checklist to help you and yours have everything ready to go. From what’s in the backpack to what they need to accomplish before getting on the bus—like breakfast, teeth brushing, or even putting on matching socks—as the kids accomplish these manageable goals in the morning, they can find satisfaction checking a box on a chalkboard, whiteboard, or a post-it note.
Prep, prep, prep! … For the grown-ups in this, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your child is ready for the start of the 2021 school year. Start by reading emails and make sure you’re up on the latest guidance from your child’s teachers. Maybe your child will be wearing a mask inside the classroom, maybe they won’t—but have conversations about what their classroom might look like. When they have questions, make sure your kids know where to go. The professionals at the Shoreline School District, teachers, counselors, and administrative staff, are trusted sources. And while there will be lots of talk about staying healthy this school year, that also includes mental health. Be sure to let your kids know that you’re a safe space if they’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. Mental health goes hand-in-hand with academic success.
Be a part of it … Whether your kids are at a new school or returning to someplace familiar, and whether you have the time of a stay-at-home parent or work full-time at an office, find opportunities that work for you and your family to get involved at the school. And as your kids get older, stay open-minded about new interests and opportunities. From sports to Dungeons and Dragons Club (available at Kellogg) to ASB or the Art Expo (at Shorecrest,) let your child’s participation help them connect and grow into a great human being.