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Tips for Starting a New School Successfully!

Dr. Sharon Furman-Lee

Do you remember your first day of middle or high school? Do you remember how you felt? Were you scared? Did you have plans of the character you want to proclaim for yourself?

For me, it was about a new start. New opportunities. I was starting fresh, leaving all the mistakes and wrong impressions that I ever created behind.


Next Monday is an exciting day for both of my boys. Kai is going to a new middle school entering 6th grade. Lanai is starting a new school entering 4th grade. And I am going to have to learn the new schedules, routines, teachers, and norms of the public school district (which I have no clue about because both come from the private sector).


So here are some suggestions for making the transition as smooth as possible:


1) Before the big day:

  • Visit the school several times during the summer, so your child gets acquainted with the space.

  • Go over some of the books and look at the schedule, so it is not the first time they see it on the first day they attend school.

  • Prepare them with a backpack, pencils, pens, markers, and any other material that they need for class. If you cannot afford to buy your child a new bag and the school supplies, google "free school supplies near me," and it will give you a list of places where you can get them for free. For a list of LA free school supplies events, click HERE.

  • Make sure that your child goes to sleep early the night before school. They need at least 10 hours of good sleep to be productive in class.

  • Decide the night before what they will eat for breakfast. Don't miss breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day!

  • Set an alarm clock for the time that you and your child will wake up. At least an hour before leaving the house is enough time to prepare.


2) First Day of School - Hurray... The big day arrived! Stick to the plan that you set with your child the night before. If you can, drive your child on the first day and take a picture of them entering the gate. It is important to keep a positive stress-free morning and ask your child to walk in with the right foot forward for success.


3) After the first day - Make sure that you and your child write a schedule for going to bed, waking up, breakfast, lunch, homework, and anything else that you need for your family. You can put it on the fridge or the wall somewhere around the house. Keeping a schedule keeps everybody on task, and it is like a contract that you and your children create for your family.


And remember, to succeed in school, children must be calm and balanced emotionally. The adults' job is to create a learning environment free of violence, abuse, and unnecessary worries. Teachers take care of your children at school, but you need to make sure that your children are protected at home as well. If you struggle with anything and need help, don't hesitate to speak with the teachers. There are so many available resources that you can use to help your family with food, clothes, tutoring services, and more.


And if you need someone to talk to and guide you on how to find those sources, please feel free to contact me in a private message, and I will try my best to help.


Children are the future of this world! Let's take care of them the best we can.


Good luck to all the children who started and starting school this month. And watch the following YouTube video that always makes me laugh hard. Laughing is good for you!


Dr. Sharon Furman-Lee,

Educator and Motivator,


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