Wow! Summer's Almost Over!

Gee, where did the time go? July is almost here! Once the Fourth of July celebrations have ended, it will be time to get the kiddos ready to go back to school. Oh no! Has Walmart put out the school’s supply lists? Why don’t they have one for middle school/junior high? How am I supposed to know what to buy for my high school freshman? This stuff is expensive. HELP!!!

Yes this is what most parents are concerned about during this time of the year. But what about preparing your child for the upcoming grade? Should you be concerned? If so, what can you do about it anyway? The answer to these questions is yes, yes, and yes you can!

Preparing your student mentally is just as, if not more, important than making sure all the supplies on the supply list are purchased. Especially when your child is about to embark on a new territory….whether Preschooler to Kindergartener, Elementary to Middle School/Junior High, or Middle School/Junior High to High School. These milestones are very significant in your child’s life (as well as your own). Not only do they mark that your child is growing up, it also means for yourchild, facing a brand new environment. That alone can be scary for any child!

So you say, “What can I DO?” First and foremost, take time out to talk to your child about how they feel concerning going to a new school. If they seem reluctant to speak about it, ask them some questions such as: (1) How do you feel about going to your new school? (2) Are you happy or sad, excited or nervous? (3) Are you worried about what your new teacher(s) will be like? Reassure your child that everything will be fine, but you’re there for them if any problems arise.

Here are some tips for each new transition:

Preschool to Kindergarten

Take the time to review basic requirements for your child to be off to a great start! Not only do they have to know the ABCs, but be able to recognize and name all 26 letters (not just in alphabetical order), counting 1-30 (in sequence), writing numbers 0-10, as well as recognizing and writing their name.

Elementary to Middle School/Jr. High

This is a huge time of adjustment for your pre-teen (yes, I did say “preteen”). Check with your local school to find out when your child can come and tour the new school. Some districts actually have set aside a special day (usually before the end of the school year) for the upcoming students to tour the facilities. This will help your child be more confident with changing classes and adapting to new teachers.

Middle School/Jr. High to High School

This is a time of mixed emotions… from excitement to fear of the unknown. You may feel that your child is just starting high school so you have at least a couple of years before dealing with graduation requirements, but the time to start is NOW. You can go to the Mississippi Department of Education website (www.mde.k12.ms.us) and check out the graduation requirements so your child will be able to begin on the right course and stay focused towards the ultimate goal – graduation!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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