Back to School

Change ahead!: Preparing to go back to School in September

Whether your child is in preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, high school, or even college, September is a month of transitions.  Days at the beach licking ice cream cones and building sand castles are replaced with a more structured school environment.  Just as your child needed a chance to adjust to the routine (or lack of a routine) of summer, he/she will need to adjust to the routine of school.

Here are some ideas to help make the transition back to school easier:

  1. Think about how school changes the shape of your child’s day.   Will he/ she have to get up earlier? Go to bed earlier?  Will there be a bus to catch? A backpack to pack?It will help smooth the transition if the school routines are gradually reintroduced to your child. Slowly have your child go to bed a bit earlier every night, so that by the time school starts they are ready for the earlier bedtime and wakeup. Practice packing the backpack and have your child wear the backpack around the house.  If your child will have homework once he returns to school, consider incorporating some fun homework activities into your family routine before the return to school.

  2. doodled-desks-2-1207070Most kids will benefit from a Social Story about the return to school. If possible, snap some photos of the school and the new classroom and teacher (if known). Information on social stories can be found at  A visual calendar will also help your child to understand WHEN they will be returning to school. Something as simple as a desktop calendar where you have highlighted the return day and cross off each day as it passes will work.

  3. Connect with the school if you can. Often schools open a week before the official start date. Teachers are setting up their classes, administrators are finalizing classroom placements.  Contact your school to see if you can bring your child by for a walk through the school and to say “hi” to the staff that are in the building.  At the very least, if your child normally walks to school, take a walk to the school.

  4. Review your child’s IEP so you are familiar with the goals and where your child was at the end of the previous school year.  Keep the goals in mind as your child transitions into his new grade.  What changes might be needed?

  5. Connect with school friends, especially if your child hasn’t seen them over the summer. Plan a play date or two with his school peers… maybe a picnic at the school playground. Help reinforce those relationships so that your child remembers the positive connections he has made at school.

  6. Consider having your child help put together a “Portfolio” for their new teacher- especially if it is a new school. The Portfolio could include photos of your child doing things they enjoy and things they are good at. It could also include samples of projects which highlight your child’s strengths.  Be sure to let the school know of any important events that have happened over the summer and any changes to your child’s health or behavior.

  7. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the rest of your summer while gradually making some subtle changes to ease the transition for both you and your child!

*For families needing help obtaining school supplies for September, please contact or 604 467 8700 for information and assistance. *

This entry was posted in Front Page News. Bookmark the permalink.