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August 26, 2014

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August 25, 2014

Help Children Ease Into New Grade

As families welcome the new school year, sometimes parents can forget a child’s need to ease into a new grade, says Kim Brantner, a family life specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The child who enters school this fall is not the same one who started this time last year. He or she may be different physically, mentally and emotionally.

“Your child also may be in a different class with a different teacher, maybe even in a different building or school,” Brantner said.

Children who did well last year probably will do fine this year. However, children are susceptible to pressures in school. Adjusting to change can affect their school work, at least for a while.

“During these first few weeks of school, you need to be patient,” Brantner said. “Show your understanding for any adjustments your child has to make. Offer lots of encouragement and support.”

Parents who have particular concerns or worries should share them with their child’s teacher. While some children may find change hard, in time most children will adjust just fine. Adults can help ease the transition from home and summer fun to school and studies.

Brantneroffers some hints.

Treat school as a normal activity. Don’t give the impression there is any choice about whether or not a child goes to school. “If your child says, “I’m not going,” calmly let him or her know you hear the concerns about school and will help him or her work through them,” Brantner said.

Let children talk about school. Remember, all feelings are acceptable so don’t force them to be happy or excited. They may be disappointed, upset or even frightened.

Answer honestly all questions about school and what to expect. It is the unknown that is frightening to children.

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Enlist the help of siblings and other adults. Don’t let them scare children with stories of how terrible school is or share their own bad experiences.

Allow plenty of time to talk about the day’s events after everyone gets home. Don’t push too hard for information, but promote an atmosphere where children will feel comfortable about sharing what happened at school.


For more information, visit Science of Parenting, http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/scienceofparenting/, or Just in Time Parenting, http://www.extension.org/parenting.


Contact:                Kim Brantner, Human Sciences Specialist - Family Life

Taylor County Extension

609 Pollock Blvd.

Bedford, Iowa 50833

Phone: 712-523-2137

FAX: 712-523-2139

Statewide Resources

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  • Help children succeed at school by creating a home environment that promotes learning.  Find out how developing routines, setting limits, and providing good nutrition can help.

  • A 24-hour resource for legal, finance, crisis and disaster and personal health issues, Iowa Concern provides access to an attorney for legal education, stress counselors, and information and referral services.

  • A national resource that brings quality, research-based information to families at the time it can be most useful and make the biggest difference in their lives.

  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers

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  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is all over the social media networks. Stay in touch with us through our blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

  • Find reliable, high quality, research-based information for professionals and parents in CYFERNet’s clearinghouse of the best children, youth and family resources of all the public land-grant universities in the country.

  • Are you an early childhood professional that provides care and education in your home, a center or a school? Check out our programs, resources, and trainings available to help you be the best early childhood professional you can be.

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  • Articles from Ag & Biosystems Engineering for housing issues.

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