Aiken County's back-to-school guide

By: Aiken County
By: Aiken County

Here's Aiken County's guide to preparing for school:

Two weeks before school starts:

  • Talk to your child about his/her goals for this school year. Does he/she want to make new friends? Improve his/her grades? Do better at sports? Learn to play an instrument? Help figure out ways for them to have the school year they want.
  • Start setting alarm clocks. Gradually roll back bedtimes and wake-up times to ease kids into their new schedule.
  • Check the school website for news about the upcoming year.
  • Firm up transportation plans: Find out whether the bus route has changed and what time you can expect it to arrive. Confirm carpool arrangements.
  • Shop for school supplies. Now is a good time to stock up on basics your kids will use all year, like paper and pencils.
  • Encourage your child to finish his/her summer reading and schoolwork assignments.
  • Get out the master calendar and mark in any important dates, activities, and appointments that are missing. Consider using a different pen color for each child.

One week before school starts:

  • Print out the school rules from the website and review them with your child.
  • This is a good time to talk about academic expectations, too. Discuss the curriculum and the fun things they will be learning.
  • Review the school routine. Talk about catching the bus, going to after-school care, and getting to and from activities.
  • Talk with your child about the start of school. Ask what lingering worries she/ he has and what you can do to help.
  • Do a dry run or two—waking up early, getting ready, and leaving the house on time.
  • Go over supply lists to make sure you have everything.
  • The night before school starts:

  • Follow your child’s cues about the new school year. He/She may want to talk about the first day, or may prefer to play it cool.
  • Pack lunch with your child’s help. Or, if they are old enough, have them make it themselves. If your child is buying lunch at school, include the lunch card or money in his/her backpack and remind him/her where it is.
  • Help your children pack their backpack.
  • Help them lay out their clothes.
  • Do any necessary prep work for breakfast so the morning runs smoothly.
  • Set alarm clocks.
  • The first day of school:

  • Get everyone up a few minutes earlier than you think is needed just to make sure no one misses the bus.
  • Make time for a protein-packed breakfast: Include some cheese, eggs, or yogurt. Even a turkey sandwich will do the trick.
  • Make an extra effort to ensure that everyone has what they need before heading out the door.
  • If you have time, take a photo! Years from now you will treasure these first-day-of-school pictures.

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