In most parts of the country, kids start getting ready to go back to school in August. And that can mean a whole lot of new things! New friends, new clothes, a new backpack, a new bed time — maybe even a new school! With all this new, what’s a kid to do?
Relax, for starters. Sure, you might be a little anxious about going back to school, especially if you are going to a new school. The building and teachers might be unfamiliar, but chances are that some of your friends will be there. Of course, if you have moved to a new city and school, that’s a little different. Just think of it as an exciting adventure in unexplored territory! Other kids will be feeling just like you, so try being friendly and saying hello. It will help everyone relax, and you’ll be on your way to making new friends in no time.
You might be a little nervous about your new teachers. Don’t worry! They are just as anxious to learn all about their new students! The teacher will do a lot of talking the first day, telling you the classroom rules and what to expect. Be sure to listen! Knowing the rules and being comfortable with the routine will help you relax and get used to your new surroundings. New clothes are a little more fun to think about. It’s important to feel good about yourself on the first day of school. Maybe you went on a vacation or to summer camp and have a T-shirt from your trip that you would like to wear (it’d be a great conversation starter, too!). If your school requires a uniform, you can still add your own style. Maybe a favorite watch, piece of jewelry, or hairband would help your personality shine through. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a good breakfast will also help you feel good on the first day of school. And don’t forget about personal hygiene. Take a shower and remember to brush your teeth! You don’t want to be “the stinky kid” on the first day of school (or ever!).
And then there’s that necessity — the backpack. Whether you have a brandspanking- new one or the one from last year, make sure that the straps are adjusted so that it fits you properly. A backpack is a great way to carry heavy loads of books. It’s designed to put the weight on the strongest muscles in the body, the back and abdomen. But thousands of kids are treated for backpack-related injuries each year because they don’t wear it correctly, or they overload it.
Backpacks should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of the child’s body weight. This means a child who weighs 100 pounds should have a backpack weighing no more than 10 to 15 pounds. Children should always wear both straps over their shoulders and a waist strap, if it has one. Adjust the straps so that the backpack rests in the middle of your back. And, packing matters, too! Pack the backpack with the most weight lower on the back, near the waist, and with the heaviest books closest to the body. Taking the time to clean out clutter every day or two will help lighten the load, too! Remember these tips, and all the newness of starting back to school will be old-school in no time!