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  • Writer's pictureGaila Cohen Morrison

Dear Gaila - Adjusting to the School Year

Dear Gaila,

My daughter has just started third grade. Summer vacation was challenging, fun and a little crazy. Now that we are back in the school year, how can I help my child adjust to the new school year?

Concerned Mother

Preparing for the school year

Dear Concerned Mother,

I am so happy that you have asked this question. I believe that every teacher would like their students' parents to prepare for the school year.

First and foremost, have a discussion with your child as to what school is all about. Whether we are talking about first graders or twelfth graders, it is important for a child to realize that school is his job. Your job as a parent is to take care of the home, family and to go to work outside the home. He probably has to do some chores around the house, but his primary responsibility is to go to school and to get the most out of it.

This means:

  • going to bed at a reasonable hour (children need between 8-9 hours of sleep)

  • preparing his homework

  • preparing his clothes, materials that will be needed for school the next day

  • deciding on what he wants in terms of food to take to school. With older children they can prepare it themselves. (It is important that they understand that the food should be not only what they want but healthful as it will help them stay focused and learn easily in school)

  • If you child has special needs he has to understand what the teacher can do to help him, and how to ask for it. Often this is more the area of the parent. If however the parent has not informed the teacher, or perhaps your child is older and would like this responsibility himself - he must talk to his teachers (before class) about his special needs.

Teach your child to get the most out of school

It is important to have a general talk with your daughter about overall changing schedules. Now that vacation is over, she will need to go to sleep earlier, to make more time for homework tie, etc...

May we have a good and fruitful year!


Gaila has almost 40 years of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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