Back to School Tips for Elementary School Kids and their Parents!

We're coming up to the end of summer break and that means it is time to head back to the classroom for tens of thousands of students around Vancouver. For some younger students (especially first time elementary students) heading back to school after months of fun in the sun can be a bit scary. For parents, getting students in the "school day" routine can be an important first step to ensure they are hitting the ground running once they arrive at elementary school.

Here is a top ten list of tips from a number of VSB elementary school principals for parents looking to get their son or daughter off to a great start:

  • Make sure students are getting back into the bedtime routine - no more late summer nights
  • Shop as a family to ensure lunches are both nutritional and palatable  - this will make sure your child ends up eating (rather than trading) what you packed for them at lunch
  • Read aloud to get back in the "book-reading habit" (if they aren't there already)
  • Brainstorm together a couple of ideas/summer stories that your child can share with the rest of the class - during the initial back-to-school weeks there will be a lot of "sharing what we did on vacation" and being prepared helps
  • Set some goals and targets for learning so your child can hit the ground running
  • Play fun games that reinforce and reintroduce skills learned earlier (counting games, reviewing colors, reading signs). The key is to make sure the games are fun (not stressful)
  • Be enthusiastic about the start of school. Many students, especially younger ones, pick up on their parent's emotions. If you're pumped about school, odds are they will be as well
  • Set a good example: if they see you reading, your child is much more likely to also want to pick up a book
  • Make sure you are aware of traffic, parking and stopping so you're getting to and from school safely
  • Demonstrate safety trumps convenience. Back to school time can be particularly hectic in the first few weeks and if you show your child you are obeying the (road) rules, they likely will too
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