Newsletter – 2023 August 24

“Education is not about knowing things or taking lessons but about being able to use three lingos: those of the head, the heart, and the hands…learning so that you can think about what you feel and do, can feel what you think and do, and can do what you feel and think. Unity within a person”

Pope Francis

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year at Our Lady of Mercy. We are all excited to have
students back in our classrooms and hallways filling them with energy and enthusiasm for
learning. We want to extend a very special welcome to our kindergarten students and new
students who will be joining our OLM community.

Going back to school after the long summer can be a time of excitement for many children (and
parents 🙂 However, for some children the transition back to school, especially for
kindergarteners and the new students can be stressful or worrisome. We would like to share some
tips that will help you and your family keep organized, create routines, and support your
child(ren) to be the best at school.

1. Use a calendar
Your children will be better prepared for school when they can visually see when school will
start again. A good idea is to hang a calendar in their room and let them mark off each day with a
colorful pen until the new school year starts.

2. Re-establish daily routines and bedtime routines early
Establishing consistent routines is very important for children. Getting enough sleep is critical
for a child to stay healthy and be successful. They will need some time to get back to the
sleeping pattern that they had before the summer holidays started. In order to make it easier for
children to be awake early in the morning, parents can introduce a bedtime routine one to two
weeks before school starts.

Create a bedtime routine that is consistent to help your children settle down and fall asleep. For
example, a calming pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading with them, tucking
them in and saying goodnight.
Have your children turn off electronic devices well before bedtime and remove the electronics
from the bedroom. Try to have the home as quiet and calm as possible when younger children
are trying to fall asleep.

3. Make the unknown environment more familiar
If your children are worried about the fact that they will start school in a new environment such
as a new classroom or where they will line up, bring your children to the school so that they can
become more familiar with the new place. It is also a good idea to have a conversation with them
about all the positive aspects at school such as their favorite subject and the activities they love at

4. If your child(ren) is worried…
One of the most powerful ways you can support your children through the process of returning to
school is by trying to understand how they are feeling about it.

  • find the right time to ask them questions to get a sense of what’s on their mind. Help identify
    what they are worried about. Listening to what they are experiencing – give them an open space
    to talk about what’s going on or ask questions
  • encourage them to problem-solve
  • focus on the positive aspects (what are they looking forward to or are curious about)
  • role play different scenarios to build confidence
  • be supportive but don’t allow your child to stay at home

5. Pack your bags the night before
There are quite a few things you can do the night before to help the morning rush run a little
more smoothly. Can you have backpacks packed, and waiting by the door? Can you encourage
your children to pick out their clothes and have them ready? Can you prepare lunches the night
before? These little things can go a long way to help you feel prepared.

6. Eating healthy
Studies show that pupils who have a nutritious breakfast and a healthy lunch function better.
They do better in school and have better concentration and more energy. In advance, ask your
children about healthy food that they like to take to school. Maybe your children like particular
fruits or vegetables which you can pack, as well as a healthy sandwich.

7. Give kids time to adjust
Different kids will be feeling different things – excitement, nervousness, uncertainty – about
going back to school. It’s important to give them time to transition back.

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