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How to Get Your Child’s School Year Off to a Good Start

Posted on Sep 5, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

school supplies

After coasting through the more relaxed, lazy days of summer, most families find that the shift to the full-throttle weeks of the school year can be quite challenging.  To assist you in this transition, here are some resources that can help you get your child’s school year off to a good start:

Get Organized

A great way to stay ahead of the game and get the school year off to a good start is to get organized.  Here are two articles that can assist you with that task:

Get in a Routine

Establishing routines can help minimize stress as well as aid you in managing your family’s time more efficiently.  These articles offer great insights on this topic:

parent and child

Get Involved

Nothing can have a more positive impact on your child than your involvement in his or her education, so get the year off to a good start by getting involved.  These articles discuss ways in which you can do so:

The effort you make in getting the school year off to a good start can help pave the way to an exciting and successful year at school.

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Topics: Back-to-School

5 Transition Tips for Parents of Children Who are Changing Schools

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

moving day

Whether it is due to relocation or any number of other reasons, the idea of leaving one school environment and entering a new one can be a challenging experience for a child.  Here are 5 things that can help reduce anxiety related to changing schools and make the transition a smooth one for your child:

1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Offer your support by listening to your child’s concerns about the transition.  As the first day of school approaches, talk to your child about his or her hopes, expecations and fears.  Acknowledge your child’s feelings and assure him or her it is normal to be anxious about starting at a new school.  Above all, maintain a positive and realistic focus regarding the transition.

2. Arrange a Visit to the School

A visit to your child’s new school can go a long way in helping to calm your child’s nerves.  In addition to seeing the physical building, meeting some of the school staff and personnel can help alleviate the fear of the unknown and familiarize your child with some of the people he or she will soon be seeing on regular basis.

girls playing

3. Connect With Classmates

Look for opportunities for your child to meet some of his or her soon-to-be classmates over the summer.  Reach out to the school office to discover ways to connect with families whose students are in your child’s grade or to learn more about events or activities you might be able to attend to make these connections.

4. Tap Into School Resources

Identify the ways in which your school communicates important information to parents.  Take the steps necessary to ensure you are in the loop.  Your proactive engagement will not only keep you informed, but will also help expedite your child’s transition.  

5. Get Involved

Reach out and introduce yourself to the PTA president or parent volunteer coordinator.  Look for ways to contribute to the school that utilize your skills and are aligned with your interests.  Your involvement in the school can go a long way in easing your child’s transition.  In addition, research shows that the more involved parents are, the more successful their children will be in school in general.

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Making the Most of Back-to-School Night

Posted on Sep 6, 2014 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch


A good way to get your school year off to a great start is to attend your child’s Back-to-School Night.  To get the most out of this event, it is important to understand the purpose of the evening and know what to expect before you arrive.

back to school night chart

What to Expect:

A Back-to-School Night generally kicks off with an assembly during which topics relevant to the entire school body are shared.  From there, parents are usually dismissed to the classrooms to spend time with their children’s teachers.

It is important to keep in mind that unlike an orientation session that typically takes place before the start of the school year and includes your children as well as the opportunity to speak to their teachers on more of a one-on-one basis, Back-To-School Night offers teachers the chance to address parents as a group to introduce the course curriculum and the goals of the class as a whole.  As such, it is likely you will need to arrange for child care that evening and make plans to schedule a separate appointment with your child’s teacher or wait until parent-teacher conferences to discuss specific questions or concerns you may have about your child.


How to Prepare:

Here are some things you can do in preparation for the evening:

1.  Bring a Pen and Paper.

A lot of information will be covered during the event, from curriculum content and classroom expectations to homework and discipline policies.  As a result, plan to come ready to listen and to take notes.

2.  Plan Ahead if You Have More Than One Child.

If both parents are able to attend, plan to divide and conquer and to exchange notes afterwards.  If not, prioritize your classroom visits.  For example, if an older child has already had the teacher to which your younger is now assigned, consider focusing your efforts on your older child’s classroom first and follow up with the remaining teachers afterwards.

3.  Be Prepared to Become Involved.

This event will also offer you the opportunity to find out what volunteer opportunities are available, both school-wide as well as within the classroom.  Give some thought ahead of time to ways in which you might want to become involved in the school community as well as your time constraints.

Best wishes for a great school year!

Topics: Back-to-School

‘Twas The Night Before School

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch


‘Twas the night before school, and all through the town

Every school supply was labeled, down to the last crayon.

Lunchboxes were readied, first-day clothing picked out

“Time for bed children!” Mom said with a shout.

“It’s too early to sleep,” they replied with nary a yawn

They who were accustomed to staying up until dawn.

Summer is over, no more playing by the light of the moon

The buzz of the alarm clock will arrive much too soon.

Reluctantly the children began bedtime routines

Several times asking, “Five minutes more, please?”

After a bit more stalling, the kids at last crawled into bed

Though their minds still buzzed with thoughts of the school year ahead.

For a while giggles and noises could be heard through bedroom doors

A long time later replaced by quiet snores.

In the blink of an eye it was suddenly daybreak

And despite little sleep the kids were surprisingly easy to wake.

The cause?  School-day jitters, truth be told

For all of the children, both the young and the old.

While they faced the day with some anticipation

The stronger feelings were of fear and trepidation.

At breakfast mom said, “Eat your toast with some jelly,

It may help with those butterflies trapped in your belly.

Just think of the fun times and learning ahead,

Great teachers and classmates, you have nothing to dread.”

Eventually the nervousness turned into glee

When the kids realized how exciting the new school year could be.

They finished their meal and grabbed their backpacks from the floor

And eagerly headed toward the front door.

First-day-of-school photo

Mom cried, “Hold on a minute my dear little chicks

I need to take the requisite first-day-of-school pics!”

The children all posed with big smiles on their faces

Even the self-conscious ones wearing new braces.

With the morning necessities out of the way

The family set off to begin the new day.

While the kids headed out with a new sense of hope and belief,

Mom gave a tremendous sigh of relief.

Later that day the kids arrived back to their lair

With a backpack of books and a glazed-over stare.

Their folders stuffed with classroom tasks and assignments

And a school calendar brimming with school year events.

A bit overwhelmed, mom suddenly had too much to process

And needed to act to avoid a big mess.

Unfortunately, that would have to wait for a later date

Or to soccer practice and dance class they would arrive way too late.

As they were frantically heading out of the door

Mom was made aware of a trip they had to take to the store

For though they had already shopped for the school supply list

There were a few more items that were inevitably missed.


The rest of the evening went by in a blur

And the family finally crawled into bed way too tired to stir.

Their final waking thoughts you can surely bet

Consisted of one big question: Is it summer vacation yet?

Topics: Back-to-School