A positive approach to school


August 29, 1999

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about the importance of a positive attitude when youngsters head back to school. Her column appears biweekly.

Wasn't summer great? Didn't we all have fun? Those long, lazy days outside, sitting around the pool, barbecuing, just having fun, are almost over. Never fear! With summer's end in sight, new fun is happening just around the corner. We're gearing up for a new school year. Happy New Year to all!

Here are some things to consider when getting your child ready for school:

* Create positive attitudes about the new school year.

* Count down the days to the beginning of school.

* Set reachable but high standards for your children.

* Encourage your children to set high yet reachable goals for themselves.

* Encourage your children to try new things.

* Show your children you are willing to try new things.

* Encourage your children to talk about what they think their new class will be like.

* Encourage your children to talk about what they think they will want to learn.

* Read books to your children about the beginning of school ("Arthur," "Never Spit on Your Shoes," etc.)

* Encourage your children to talk about what is on their minds.

* Model getting along well with others (taking turns, sharing, waiting).

* Talk to your children about getting along well with others.

* Play school. Take turns being the teacher.

* Share your own positive feelings about your school experiences.

* Talk about your hopes and goals for this school year.

* Make a summer memory box to be opened during winter holiday season.

* Have a farewell-to-summer party. Invite your children's friends over for pizza or ice cream and to share their favorite parts of the summer.

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award- winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education and has field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Pub Date: 08/29/99

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