YMCA Back to School Special: Connecting with Your Children

Goodbye August; hello September! Just after Labor Day students across Broome County will trade their summer flipflops and sun-faded tee-shirts for brand new backpacks and outfits. YMCA member and retired school psychologist, Maggie Nugent, offered some simple thoughts before the yellow buses arrive. Her observations and wisdom gained over 25 years presents practical ideas to smooth the transition and keep families connected during the school year.
She encouraged families to establish daily routines. These routines support every child with the security of an expected structure. Then she offered these guidelines for what she called, “the ‘doing and busyness’ of getting ready for school and coming home from school”:

She said, “It is important to turn off technology (phone/TV/computer/other digital devices) and TALK with your child.” Some relevant topics include:
*home routines
*classroom work partners & friends at school
*fire drill & other evacuaton routines
She said, “CONVERSATION will :
*help your children feel supported in expressing themselves
*build their vocabulary
*clear up their confusion on any aspect of their day
*Shows your interest in their daily activities
*Convey you value their feelings, their opinions….and THEM!”

If your young children are just starting school, changing schools or feeling a little anxious about the first day, reading a story together might open up conversations and put them at ease. Check your public library or local bookstore for an array of delightful picture books on these subjects. Barnes and Noble featured an entire display of creative School Stories” covering everything from the first day of kindergarten, to teachers, to getting alonging with others. Here are a few favorites:
Popular Children’s Series:
The Berenstein Bears Go to School
Peppa Pig and the Busy Day at School
Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes
Curious George’s First Day of School

Clever, Comical and Creative School Books:
If You Ever wanted to Bring an Alligator to School, DON’T; Elise Parsley
If You Take a Mouse to School;Laura Numeroff
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School; Laura Murray
Skippyjon Jones Class Action; Judy Schachner
How to Get Your Teacher Ready; Jean Regan

Starting Kindergarten:
Mis Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten; Joseph Slate
K is for Kindergarten; Erin Dealy
On the First Day of Kindergarten; Tish Rabe

New School:
First Day Jitters; Julie Danneberg

Getting Along/Conflict Resolution:
May I Have a Word; Caron Levis
Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten; Candice Ransom

Celebrate the New School Year
Tuck a small surprise, an encouraging note or a silly joke in your child’s backpack.
Go out for ice cream on the last day of summer vacation or after first day of school and chat about the best/favorite and hardest/least favorite part of starting school.
Join in the free Family Fun and Literacy Awareness Day @ the Broome County Public Library, on Saturday September 23, 2017 (details below)