How Transitioning Back to School Can be Successful and Less Stressful

IMG_1006.jpg
 
 


We have all had a nice break. Yes, I’m talking to you parents too and not just the kids. Whether it was a break from the school routine each day of drop offs and pick-ups, and lunches and PTA meetings, etc., its been a change of pace for the summer. And change always has its positives. As we now transition into Fall and a new school year is underway, more changes await us and our kids.

 

 

For me, I am strattling both ends of the elementary school spectrum with a kindergartener and a six grader! Whilst my oldest son knows the drill and is a returning student at our neighborhood school, my little guy faced a whole new experience. Ever feel like you are the only parent trying to coax your child into a new experience and not doing a great job? Well, I didn’t just feel it; I was living it on the first day of school. I found myself being the last parent to leave the classroom; trying to console my son that everything would be ok. He wasn’t crying; quite the opposite happened. He was defiant and would not to sit down in his seat like the other kids did. “They don’t even have cots,” he said upset, remembering his preschool had nap time. Keeping calm and patient, I tried to reassure him that maybe they were tucked away somewhere but he wasn’t buying it! And what I found out the next day from his teacher was that my little one had fallen asleep and missed lunch that first day. It was a rough day for him. As one of the younger kindergarteners since he has a “late birthday” in early October, the adjustment is going to take a bit of time, but I know he will be fine. The second day was smoother, his teacher informed me and since then he has been adjusting well.  Phew! I know we can make it until June! Plus, with his older brother there to cushion his transition, I feel a lot of relief.

 

On to the next transition of finding a middle school for my oldest son. I’ve already started reviewing the options of schools and have tips for this process for you below as well as tried and true tips for making time for yourself and keeping calm as well as getting involved in your kids’ school to make everyone’s experience positive and fun:  

 

Here are my tips for relaxing without the kids and staying cool during difficult situations as a parent: 

  • Always schedule in time for yourself, whether it means putting the kiddies to bed earlier than usual so you can binge watch your favorite show or hiring a babysitter to have a date night or a girls night out, do it! Rejuvenating your spirit makes you a better parent, not a selfish parent

  • Try your hardest to take a deep breath and be patient when your child is throwing a fit or anxious about a new situation and don’t be hard on yourself about your kid acting up; it’s par for the course

  • Talk to other parent-friends about your stresses to get tips on how to manage various situations. “You are not alone,” a la Michael Jackson!

     

 Here are my must-do’s for getting involved, which I hope can help you for this and every school year:

  • Get involved in your child’s classroom. This will ensure your child’s teacher knows you are invested in their education and are willing to support them by volunteering in the classroom or helping with events like class trips and parties that arise during the year

  • Join the PTA to learn what’s going on in your child’s school. From renovations to hiring a new teacher or supporting a school initiative, the PTA is your source for all school news that affects your child’s education and experience

  • Get to know your child’s friends’ parent (s) so you not only make new friends but feel comfortable with them to schedule playdates and birthday parties. This also expands your support system

 

 

IMG_1009.jpg
 

Here are tips and resources for picking a new school for your kids whether your preference is public, charter or independent:

  • Schedule school tours to speak to administration and get a feel for how your child would fit into the school and how you feel about the school

  • Come prepared to ask questions!

  • Seek the advice of other parents who know about area schools or have kids at schools you are looking at and ask more questions!

 

Resources:

 

For public school information for K-12, a useful link is:

1.     https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/catalog/k-12-students-schools.html

2.     https://blog.ed.gov/

 

For charter school information, a useful link is:

1.   https://charterschoolcenter.ed.gov/ 

 

·      For independent schools, a useful link is:

1.     http://parents.nais.org/

 

Here are resources for application assistance and scholarships for independent schools in the District, MD and VA region:

 

1.     http://blackstudentfund.org/

2.     http://www.latinostudentfund.org/  

 

I’ll be sharing more of my journey as a mom and I hope you will give me your feedback. Also, to come are features of other moms and their families that I know September Set readers will find commonality and valuable information. Stay tuned!