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Preparing for the New School Year as a Parent

Preparing for the New School Year as a Parent

Back-to-school time means changes for the whole family—including trading the slower days of summer for a busier schedule, replacing outgrown clothes and shoes, and navigating new transitions. As a parent, here’s how you can prepare for the new school year and help your kids get ready to learn and thrive.

Get acclimated—whether it’s to a new routine or a new school

Getting used to something new is often best done gradually. For instance, if kids formed new sleep habits over the summer, try moving bedtime and wake-up time fifteen minutes earlier each day until everyone’s accustomed to the school-year schedule. If your family moved recently, take kids to their new school to meet their teachers, if possible, or even just to play on the playground. Exploring their new environment in advance can help with first-day jitters.

Shop for clothes and supplies

In our last post, we shared a helpful back-to-school shopping list—plus tips on what to do if you are struggling to afford school supplies this year. Have everything you need but want to help low-income children get school-ready? Please consider making a donation to our #SchoolReady fund.

Give kids a healthy start

Before school is in full swing, schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician. Now is the perfect time to make sure standard immunizations are up to date, check off your child’s sports physical (if applicable), and discuss any health concerns. Don’t overlook mental health care, since challenges such as stress and anxiety can impact your child’s well-being and success in school.

Plan their after-school schedule together

Kids’ interests can change quickly, and their preferred activities may have evolved since last year. Discuss what sports and extracurriculars your child wants to participate in, and work together to create a daily schedule that will help keep the whole family organized. It can be tempting to overschedule, but don’t forget to build in time for unstructured play and relaxation.

Talk to kids about going back to school

The start of a new school year can prompt big feelings: worries about having a new teacher, excitement to see friends again, or stress if your child is struggling with a particular subject. Supporting your child can be as simple as starting a conversation about what they’re looking forward to—and what they may be dreading. Listening and offering reassurance without dismissing their fears is a great way to help children prepare mentally and emotionally for school.

Heading back to school should be a positive experience for every child—and for their parents, too. But low-income families often face stressors such as not being able to afford proper-fitting shoes and weather-appropriate attire for their growing children. Please make a donation to our #SchoolReady fund to provide brand-new coats and shoes to kids in need. The Carnival Foundation will match all gifts up to $25,000, so you can double your impact and help even more kids kick school off to a great start this year.

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