- Ease into the routine. The start of a new year can be stressful - practice your routine a few days in advance.
- Ask your child compelling questions. Specific questions help children picture what school will be like.
- Describe what will happen on the first day. This will help ease nervousness or confusion.
- Tool up. Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip, letting your child pick out a few special items.
PBS Parents also has some really great tips about making sure your house is set up to keep literacy going after school.
- Create a cozy, comfortable reading space with your child. Set rules for this area in your home to maintain peaceful reading.
- Let your kids catch you reading. Talk about what you read in newspapers, books, and magazines with your children so they understand the importance of reading.
- Encourage your child to read aloud at home. Your child will learn to read with expression and understanding while sharing stories with you – and siblings and grandparents, too!
- A trip to the grocery store can reinforce reading skills. Have your child write the grocery list, find the items using the store's signs, and read product labels — you can also encourage healthy eating.
Head on over to PBS Kids to find some really cool activities, like the Super Fab Lab with Sid the Science Kid, where Sid teaches kids how to make ice pops! I know Punk loves doing this; we make our own popsicles all the time.
And for those of you who have littles that aren't school-age yet, watch for a new series called Dinosaur Train, an animated series that encourages basic scientific thinking skills [premieres September 7th].
I know as a kid I loved PBS [seriously, I still have Elmo dolls], and all of this just proves to me that they are still going really strong in helping kids learn and grow!