Arminta Jacobson, a University of North Texas professor who founded the Center for Parent Education, offers these tips for parents of students starting kindergarten or high school:
• Understand that your child isn’t changing. It’s their environment that is changing — their teachers, peers, routines and expectations.
• Some children will be excited, some not so ready to jump in. Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
• Take kindergartners to visit their school and classroom before the first day. Play school at home and talk to them about what it will be like.
• Encourage new high school students to take advantage of opportunities, including extracurricular activities and electives.
• Help your high schooler find a mentor: a teacher, coach or principal who can answer questions and address concerns.
• Make sure you are really listening to your children and give feedback.
• Daily rituals are comforting during transition times. Practice your morning routine before school starts, including eating breakfast, laying out clothes and making lunches.
• Make time, especially during the first few weeks, to be more available than usual. Pay attention to students’ sleeping patterns and appetites.
• Make an effort to know as much about the school as possible.
— The Dallas Morning News