Originally published by YMCA.

Getting back to a school schedule can be challenging for any family and can be especially trying for families with foster children. There are ways to make the process of getting back-to-school ready easier for you and your family.


1. Get excited

Each school year brings new opportunities for learning and trying new things. Start the school year off by talking to your child about the many opportunities that will be available to them at school. Work together with your child to find afterschool and during school activities that are interesting to them including band, choir, sports teams and other activities like speech and debate and more. Let them consider their options and discuss what different opportunities can help them learn.


2. Let them choose

As the first day comes near, it’s time to refresh your child’s wardrobe and get lunch items ready for the week. When kids have the chance to make decisions about the clothes they wear and the food they eat, they’re more likely to enjoy them. Even when your child is required to wear a uniform, letting them choose what shoes and accessories to wear will bring them a sense of individuality. When it comes to lunch, if your child is old enough to help pack a lunch, try letting them help. Or if they get hot lunch at school, let your kid pick out some snacks to take along.


3. Get back on a sleep schedule

Kids can only thrive when they get enough sleep each night. Helping kids to learn their bedtime and stick to it is crucial for growth, development and learning. It can be trying at first but standing by bedtime rules can make a huge difference for kids.


4. Talk to their teacher

Set up some time to talk your child’s teacher or teachers, sending an email or making a call to discuss the particular needs and strengths of your child and prepare for the new school year. Give the teacher an overview and as much information concerning your child in care as you can without breaking confidentiality. Let the teacher know your involvement in your child’s care life and any challenges that may affect the child’s success in the classroom. Chances are, the teacher will understand and be willing to work with him to ensure he has a successful school year.


5. Talk to your CASA volunteer

There are many resources in Louisiana that are dedicated to helping children. Talk to your CASA volunteer to help figure out what programs and resources would be beneficial to you and your family.


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