Not only is it important to prepare your child to go back to school, but you need to prepare as well. These are the things I do to prepare myself for a successful school year:
- Purchase a monthly calendar - I use this strictly for school related activities. I record my son's upcoming tests, project deadlines and activities. It's an easy way to he and I top see what's coming up on the weeks ahead.
- Update your Resource Notebook - I make sure all paperwork and report cards from the previous school year are included. I also check to make sure all information is up to date.
- Schedule a teachers conference - I like to schedule a meeting with the teacher about one month after school has started. This allows the teacher time to get to know my son and his abilities. I meet with her to get her feedback on his behavior, social interaction with new classmates and academic progress. This information provides a baseline for the teacher and I to base the rest of the year on.
- Schedule an IEP meeting - I usually do six to eight weeks after school has started. This allows the IEP team, me included, to review his IEP and see if any changes need to be made.
- Discuss the new school year with my son - After a week or two my son and I have a light-hearted, yet in depth discussion about school. I ask him how things are going, what he likes best, what he dislikes, what changes he things could be made to help him, etc. I use this information when I meet with the teacher and IEP team.
- Volunteer - I firmly believe that being active at your child's school will improve his school experience. I volunteer in the classroom, library and cafeteria. I am also active in the school's PTA. By doing this, you will form a stronger bond with the very people you entrust your child to on a daily basis... teachers, principal, school nurse, etc. Your presence will also allow you to get to know your child's peers. I have found this to be a wonderful way to combat bullying as well. The bullies are more apt to leave your child alone if they know you will be at the school on a regular basis. They will not see your child as an easy target. Plus, my son loves it when he sees me at school. It brings his two worlds together and makes him feel more at ease.
- Don't forget the picture - I always take a picture of my son on the first day of school. To easily tell which year each picture was take, he holds up the number of fingers that correspond to that year's grade. These are priceless photos that I've cherished throughout the years. Plus, it's amazing to see how much he grows from year to year.
For additional tips on getting ready for the back-to-school rush, visit these sites:
- Back to School: 10 Conversations to Have with ADHD Children
- A Back-to-School Checklist for ADHD Children
- Back-to-School Preparation for Children with ADHD
Here's to a great school year for you and your ADHD/LD child!