Start The Year Off Right!

Colonial Elementary School

Start The Year Off Right!

Getting ready for the start of a new school year can be an exciting but slightly anxious time for children...and parents too. Here are some thoughts from your 4th grade counselor on how to prepare and empower your child to start the year off right!

Register your child for Transition Camp (TAP):

Colonial Elementary School (CES) offers a half day transition camp (TAP) as a fun opportunity for your child to meet other 4th grade students and teachers through exciting games and activities. For TAP dates and additional information, visit the Colonial Elementary School website, click on Welcoming Incoming 4th Graders and register your child on-line. Registration Deadline August 11th

First day jitters - Talk with your child about what to expect:

Many children are a little nervous when anticipating a new school year even if they don't show it. Sit down with your child and discuss his/her feelings about school. Talk about the positive things your child can look forward to at CES, about catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Discuss the logistics of the first day of school. Be sensitive to how your child feels and help him/her talk through those feelings to a positive outcome.

Routines - Establish school routines early:

There is so much fun to be had during summer break and bedtimes can become inconsistent. To make school mornings easier, start having your child practice his/her new school routine the week prior to the first day of school. The night before the big day, have backpacks packed, lunches made and school clothes picked out. It's never good to feel rushed the first morning of school and this will allow you to give your full attention to your child.

Making New Friends - Review with your child how to make friends:

Fourth grade is a time for your child to meet children from different elementary schools and to make new friends. Help your child practice introducing himself/herself. Assist your child in choosing three topics of conversation that could be used when meeting someone for the first time. Asking someone about their best summer experience is always a favorite. Share with your child that by smiling and saying hello first, he/she can make another child feel more comfortable.

Positivity - Your child is listening. Share something positive:

You can set a positive tone for the entire school year based on the things you say about your child's new school and teachers. Remind your child about the enthusiastic, caring teachers that he/she met during the student tours of CES and Family Orientation Night. Give an example from your childhood of a time when you did something that was hard to do, but was worth the nervousness. Share a time you once reached out and got to know somebody you never would have known if it weren't for you making the first move. Praise your child and always make a point to encourage your child's best efforts.

Fun Activities – Pick one or more from the list to get excited about CES!

  • Come play on the CES playground
  • Go school supply shopping – Visit our CES Webpage for school supply lists
  • Start discussing possible decorations for the inside of your child's locker (magnets, pictures, etc.) Please keep in mind that all objects must be removable.
  • Role play meeting a new classmate, teacher, bus driver, and cafeteria aide
  • Visit our webpage to see pictures of fun happenings at CES
  • Have a fashion show to plan out back to school clothes
  • Brainstorm 5 random acts of kindness for the first 5 days of school

It takes time for children to make new friends, build rapport with teachers and feel comfortable in a new school setting. It's common for this adjustment to take the first 4-6 weeks of school. At Colonial Elementary School, your child will be surrounded by encouragement and positivity. We hope you try out these suggestions and find them helpful in getting your child excited to start school. We're looking forward to seeing you soon and starting the year off right! J

Ms. Susan Furst

M.A. in Educational Counseling

CES Fourth Grade Counselor

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