Back to school bliss

Little Girl Hugging Her Mother Beside the Schoolbus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) It’s the big day you and your child have been waiting for – the first day of kindergarten! Even if your child has been in preschool programs and organized daycare, there is still something monumental about sending your baby off for his or her first day of real school. Here are four tips I’ve learned along the way that may help ease you and your child into this new season of life.

1. Make the Day Special

Start traditions that you can carry on throughout your child’s school years. Maybe it’s a special breakfast, a photo in a certain spot, a send off letter or a silly song. Come up with something clever that suits your family and then stick to it each year. You’ll be amazed at how important these first day of school traditions will become to both you and your child!

2. Get Involved

Meet your child’s teacher and ask how you can help support the work he or she is doing. If you can volunteer in the classroom, great! If you can’t, ask how else you can help out. There could be opportunities to pick up projects to work on in the evening or maybe you could volunteer for special events like carnivals and field trips. The key is to make it known early in the year that you’re available and want to help.

3. Be Your Child’s Advocate

Every child is different and learns in different ways. You know your child better than anyone else. If your child is having anxiety about school work, bus rides, playground issues, etc., speak up! Remember, you’re an important part of your child’s education team. Be willing to listen and work together with teachers and school administration to seek solutions that best support your child.

4. Have Fun

This is an exciting time in your life and your child’s life. Enjoy it! Talk positively about school, teachers, other parents and kids. Encourage your child to make the most of this new opportunity to expand his or her world! Set aside time to play together as a family every day. It’s easy to get caught up in frantic schedules leaving nothing fun. Sometimes you might even have to pencil fun into the family calendar! Do it! Playing a board game, watching a movie together, or going for a walk are all great ways to stay connected, ease stress and enjoy time together.

These are just a few ways to make the most of this special time. As a mom who has just sent her baby off to college in another state, I can say with great wisdom: savor these moments! These are magical days you will cherish forever. A dear friend of mine once told me, “the days will drag by, but the years fly by.” It’s so true. I hope you and your child have an amazing school year!

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