To help you prepare, The Early Show invited Dr. Lawrence Balter to share important information about how to make the transition to school a smooth one - both for children and their parents.
Dr. Balter is a child psychologist in private practice in New York City and a professor of applied psychology at New York University.
He is the author of several books including Parenthood in America: An Encyclopedia.
The following are his tips to keep in mind when ending the long, leisurely summer break.
- Schedule A Dry Run - For kids who are starting school for the first time, it's a good idea to walk the route together a few times before school starts. Knowledge of the physical layout of the school building can be very helpful in orienting a child to new surroundings.
- Send Familiar Items - First timers can be helped during their lonely moments by having with them something familiar from home. A set of keys or a photo of the family pet, placed in the lunch box, will do.
- Schedule Play Dates - Arrange play dates with children in your child's class so there is a sense of belonging and children will look forward to seeing one another in school.
- Discuss School Starting - Read books about school and have your child talk with older siblings and neighborhood kids about school.
- At-Home Dress Rehearsal - Introduce some "school-type" routines at home, such as "story time," "snack time," and "rest time".
- Adjust Bedtime Routines - Be sure to adjust their bedtime to approximate the school schedule, and get the TV viewing under control.
- Shop For School Supplies - Buy a few new school supplies, like pencil cases and notebooks, to give a sense of a fresh beginning.
- Plan Ahead The key is preparation. Clothes should be selected and laid out, snacks decided upon, and lunch money set aside the night before the first day. This eliminates last-minute anxieties. Kids should go off to school confident that everything will go smoothly.
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