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Posted at 3:38 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 18:38:05-04

Getting ready for a new school year can means lots of change.  How do you know what to expect or who you can turn to for answers? Parents, you are not alone!  Don’t worry because help is available! 

The First Day is always the hardest, no matter what grade your child is in. The San Diego County Department of Education is a great resource.  Working hard throughout the year to make sure their partnership with local school administration helps you and your family have a successful education experience. 

Prepping for the First Day

  • Build in extra time that morning. 
  • Set up your student for success with supplies and routine.
  • Take a practice run to school.
  • Eat a nutritious breakfast!

Transitioning to a New Grade

Making a transition brings different social and emotional changes with kids, but some are level specific tips: 

High School: There are many developmental changes in high school. Students are very vulnerable during this time. They listen intently and hear the tone of voice just as much as words. They want to be treated with more responsibility, but even a senior in high school may not always make the best choices. 

Middle School: Middle school is the first-time students start rotating classes and understand that each teacher is different.  This can be scary for parents, so it’s easier to avoid it or call it “drama.” Parents need to stay involved and ask their kids questions. They may not get complete answers, but asking the question is the important part.  

The new school year brings new expectations and for many children, that can be scary.  Getting to know new teachers, class rules, schedules, changing classrooms are just a few. 

Importance of Parent Involvement

  • Stay involved from K-12 - it's easy to be involved in elementary grades but older students need support, just different, such as attending events and being involved in planning groups.
  • Talk to your student about what they are learning in a positive way without imposing your own experiences on them.
  • Help your student grow and advocate for themselves.  
  • Lay ground rules and don’t be afraid to enforce them. 

Middle School: Give them safe space to make mistakes. This is the time they are learning. Failure happens, but it’s great growth opportunity for both your child and you, as a parent.   

High School: Attend the events that the high school offers to introduce your student to the school, even if you had older children attend the same school. This helps students make connections and lowers anxiety for the first day.  

It’s OK to reach out to teacher, administrator, counselor asking for help, questions or how to better navigate the process/system. 

Getting back into school / work mode is challenging even if you’re a CEO.  

If you need help with before and after school programs because you’re a working parent, as one of the largest providers of childcare services, the YMCA of San Diego County provides a variety of before-and-after school programs, including high-quality programs on various elementary school campus and more! 

And, your local YMCA Childcare Resource Service can also assist parents in helping to find the right childcare needs that best suits their family.

For more information, contact the YMCA nearest you.