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How to Prepare Your Kids for School

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Move over, summer break! It’s time for another school year. Some students anticipate the school year with excitement, while others may be anxious. Here are some tips to ensure that your child has the best school year ever:

1. Re-establish school routines.  About two weeks before school starts, have your child wake up at the same time he or she would when school is in session. This will prepare your child so he or she won’t be so sleepy and tired when school begins. Begin talking with your child about the school routine and what is expected.  Your child should report to school daily and on time.  Instructional time is precious and every minute counts as we prepare our 21st century learners for the future.

2. Go to the school and register your child for the upcoming school year.  The first day of school can be hectic, so plan to register your child ahead of time.  Make sure your child has the required immunizations before school starts. The school should have all of the correct phone numbers to get in touch with you in case of an emergency.  Principals fear being unable to contact a parent in an emergency.

3. Attend an open house to meet your child’s teacher.  If your child has any medical conditions or allergies, let the teacher know immediately. Schedule a conference with the teacher if you have things you want to discuss with her about your child. Keep in touch with the teacher via email, phone, or the student agenda, which is used as a communication tool from school to home.  Read all newsletters and information from the school and turn in paperwork immediately.

4. Discuss the importance of a quality education with your child and how efforts lead to rewards.  Learning begins at home. Instill a lifelong love of learning in your children and discuss with them your expectations about academics. Ask your child about school daily. Celebrate your child’s successes and academic achievements.

5. Limit TV time and video games. Read nightly with your child for at least 30 minutes. Read to your child and have your child read to you. Ask questions for comprehension. Take your child to the library on a consistent basis and let the kid choose books that he or she wants to read. Your child should get into the routine of reading and completing homework daily. Create a designated quiet area where your child can read and do homework with minimal distractions.

6. Do not only visit the school when your child is in trouble. Remember, the school is on your side.   Do not let your child see you argue with the teacher. The child needs to see that you and the teacher are on the same team. You want to form a positive partnership with the school.  You can be actively involved by becoming a volunteer, joining the PTA/PTO, becoming a testing proctor, or spending time in your child’s classroom. Attend parent nights, awards days, and other school activities.

Following these tips will make the transition back to school a success.

About Dr. Shanessa Fenner

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Dr. Shanessa Fenner is an elementary school principal.  She is a writer for several publications and has her own column in two of the publications: Cityview Family and Sheen Magazine.  Dr. Fenner is also a print model, actress, songwriter, and has her own local TV show entitled Let’s Talk with Dr. Shanessa Fenner. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University, two Master’s degrees from Fayetteville State University, and her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Fayetteville State University. Dr. Fenner has been featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the nation’s most eligible bachelorettes, received numerous awards, and voted one of the most influential women.