MENOMINEE - I can tell that school is about to start by the number of children gathering together in small groups. You will see them biking, congregating at various shops, or just walking. As they gather, there are discussions of places traveled and new experiences encountered.
For many it is the time of meeting old friends and making new ones. These bonds of friendship may only last for a short while, but for others, the bonds may last a lifetime. Along with their friends, most of the children share the excitement of wondering who is going to be their teacher and where the classrooms and lockers are located. If your children have some anxieties, the following are a few ways that may help to alleviate them:
1) Sleep - Start by having your children go to bed ten minutes earlier every day. This will allow the children to be well-rested for school.
2) Lunch - Pack lunches the previous night and try to place them in an easy-opening container. This will ease the anxiety of rushing in the a.m., and also the child's frustration of opening a difficult container at lunch.
3) Clothes - Have your children's clothes and shoes laid out the previous night. This will alleviate the confusion of selecting clothes in the a.m.
4) Dialogue - Take the time and contact your child's teacher. Talk to the teacher/s about your child's needs and, above all, listen to the teacher's response. Working together as a team will increase your child's success in school.
5) Orientation/Open House - Attend these events and learn the layout of the building and meet additional building personnel.
The start of the school can make a child apprehensive. These suggestions may alleviate some of these apprehensions and ease them into a positive transition into a new school year.
Dan Paul is the interim superintendent for Ishpeming Public Schools. His columns, which explore family relationships, are published monthly in Lifestyles.