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The Nation’s back-to-school guide

BY Christian-John Monias Sep 3, 2023

It’s back-to-school season! Getting your children ready for the new school year shouldn’t be a hassle. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of ways you as a parent or guardian can help ease the process of your child or children to set themselves up for success in the new coming school year. Here are some amazing ways to help ensure a smooth transition from summer to the new school year. 

  1. Encourage Independence

Children love playing the role of leader, no matter what context whether it’s playing or doing activities. When shopping for back-to-school supplies, you may want to bring your child with you and let them be the ones to choose their own supplies. Notebooks, backpacks, clothes, pencils, crayons, markers and other fundamentals they will need throughout the year. This will get them excited to bring their stuff to school and show off everything they have chosen. Agency in children is key for them to take the lead in their own work. There are also plenty of websites where school supplies are on sale at discounted prices.

  1. Re-Establishing Routine

It’s tough building up a routine, especially after a long summer. But this shouldn’t be worrisome to parents, as adults we have a hard time building our own habits. Children have an easier time getting into routine, especially when they are excited to get back in class. But there are some great ways you and your children can get right back into it. Establishing a scheduled bath or shower time really helps wash away the long days. A good bath time can also help with going to bed and waking up early. Limiting their screen time is also good, and if possible, try substituting their tablets/phones with books and magazines. Reading to your children really ensures great learning throughout the school year. 

  1. Celebrating Back to School

There’s no doubt that children pick up on our energy. When we’re happy, they’re happy. When we show admiration, they feel validated and accepted. This is why it’s important to show how important their return to school is. Show your support by doing a back-to-school party, even just by having a cake with balloons to celebrate their move from one grade to the next. Taking pictures on their first day of school also shows a ton of admiration, not to mention preserving that memory. 

  1. Talk to Your Children About Safety and Respect 

Going back to school can cause anxiety. Some children have a hard time situating themselves in the school environment. Having a good talk with your child about respect and safety may reduce the stress of being back in school. Encourage having a good time, being open with others and respecting playground and class rules. Bullying is a big mood disrupter in schools, all children are susceptible to this. Make sure to tell your child to always talk to their teachers and counsellors when recognizing an act of bullying. Letting your child know that they can also speak to you as a parent or guardian in confidence will help them feel at ease when dealing with bullying. We can all do our part to end bullying. Another thing about safety: if your child doesn’t use the bus, you may want to help them map out a route to and from school. Also, encourage them to walk with friends or family, and to not talk to strangers. Have your child spend time with their immediate and trusted Elders for advice, guidance and knowledge of the land and people. 

  1. Healthy Eating

We all struggle with healthy eating. Finding the right things to eat at the right time is crucial to how our body functions. It’s okay to snack once in a while. But make sure you know what you’re putting into your body. Learning this with your child should be some of the teachings we discuss with our children and a process we can share together. There are plenty of traditional dishes and snacks that our people eat all the time. When it comes to school time, we should best be prepared with healthy eating to make sure our children get the energy they need to do five days of school a week. Researching calories, vitamins and minerals that are best for the mind and body function can go a long way. We should make it an activity to do with our kids. If you’re a busy parent, meal prepping really helps save time. You can spend the weekend with your child choosing and preparing lunches and snacks for their week. 

  1. Knowing Your Child’s School Schedule and Teachers

Helping your child keep up with their schoolwork is vital and shows how much you value their work ethic. Even doing bi-weekly check-ins with their teacher to manage their schedule, workload and what you can do as a parent to best suit their needs at home. Your child’s success depends on your involvement as a parent. You can discuss with your child’s teacher where they lack in schoolwork. Establishing that relationship with your child’s teacher can help you keep on top of things and ease your mind in knowing where your child is at with their progress. 

We wish everyone a safe and great back to school year! May you thrive and achieve all your ultimate goals. 

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