Archive for Thursday, August 13, 2009

Five Questions: Back to School

At a back-to-school function last year, McKenna Haase learns what classroom she will spend the third grade as her parents Dan and Rachelle Haase look on.  A USD 232 counselor said dialogue can help ease students concerns about returning to school and aid their success.

At a back-to-school function last year, McKenna Haase learns what classroom she will spend the third grade as her parents Dan and Rachelle Haase look on. A USD 232 counselor said dialogue can help ease students concerns about returning to school and aid their success.

August 13, 2009

Q: What can parents do to prepare their children for the return to school? 

A: First and foremost, it is important to have open dialogue with your child about the preparation for school. Discuss any worries, questions, concerns the child may have and prepare them for things that may be unexpected or new for the upcoming year. Begin having conversations about the importance of academics and ask your child how you can best help them with homework, study skills, and staying organized throughout the year. It is important to slowly transition them into a new sleeping pattern if they have been staying up later and sleeping later.

Q: What steps can students take to prepare for the beginning of the school year? 

A: I think it is important for students to set goals for the school year ahead. These goals can be academic, social, or personal goals; just knowing what they want to strive for and trying to achieve those goals throughout the year can set the tone for a productive and successful school year. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the school itself; with school activities offered and with the school personnel.

Q: What can students and parents do to better transition from one school level to the next?

A: As a parent, it is extremely important to be supportive of their concerns, but also help them see the positive in the situation. The students are leaving their comfort zone and this can cause some anxiety; if they see their parents get worked up or disappointed about not being in classes with their friends or not having certain teachers, this can also cause more stress in the student.

Q: What is the best way for parents to become involved with their children’s school? 

A: Have an open dialogue with your child about what is going on at school; know what they are currently studying, ask about projects/assignments, offer your help if needed, and make a connection with their teachers.

It is also beneficial to know and, if possible, to attend any “Parent Informational Night” functions or “Back to School Night” events. Knowing how to access information, newsletters, online grade books, etc. is very helpful when getting involved in your child’s academic career. It can also open communication lines between you as a parent and your child.

Q: What are some of the most common problems faced by students in the first weeks of school? How can they be handled? 

A: There are a range of common problems/anxieties that student face in the first few weeks of school. These can be socially related or just schedule related. The other common problems/anxieties students face in the first few weeks are related to the logistics of the school.

day; will I get to class on time, will I be able to get my locker open, will I have the right supplies, etc.? I encourage students and/or parents to contact the teachers or other staff members with any questions about issues/problems within the first week of school so they are taken care of quickly and do not become a larger issues down the road.

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