While I have several friends around the country with kids back in class already, a lot of us are in the same position at the moment -- enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation before school is in after Labor Day.
We have great memories of summer but school is looming. With a more regimented schedule arriving, both kids and parents can feel stressed. But there are some easy ways to deal with back to school jitters.
To ease parents' fears, it's a good idea to email the children's teachers (if that information is given out) before school starts. This way they can introduce themselves and let the teacher know that they are available to talk whenever needed.
Volunteering once in a while is a great help to teachers and an even better way to know what's going on in class on a day-to-day basis.
While it's not mandatory for public schools, helping with school supplies gets the kids on track for their studies straight away. Doing a tour of the school and having a face-to-face introduction with teachers and the other staff at the school will ease fears of the unknown. Check the school's website for information about open house nights.
Kids have back-to-school jitters too. The American Academy of Pediatrics has tips on how to make the transition from summer to school. They recommend talking to your children about changes in a positive way:
"Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
"Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun! She'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
"Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride on the bus.
"If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day. "