Preparing kids for the first day of school

Altoona, WI (WEAU) -- It's not necessarily the books, the pencils, or the protractors teachers want to remind kids to be armed with as they get ready to come back to school.

While those are certainly important tools for learning, an area teacher says there are many other ways to make sure kids are ready to take on the school year.

With little more than two weeks until school begins parents are busy purchasing the necessary supplies.

"On the first day I think the biggest things would be pencils, a notebook, a folder," says Altoona Elementary school teacher, Tammy VanBlarcom, when telling what the first day of school necessities are.

However, VanBlarcom says it will take more than a shopping trip to come prepared. "One of the biggest things I think of is sleep. The kids tend to be really tired in the morning when they come. So, getting in that routine of going to bed earlier, getting up earlier so that they can be ready for that sleep pattern for school to start."

Father of 4 year-old Kana, Chuck Rasmussem says he’s already trying to get his daughter prepared. "Right now with summer and everything she's staying up really late, sometimes 9 or 10 at night. I've got to get her back in a routine of going to sleep again at about 8, so that she has enough energy for the school day."

Rasmussem is also trying to prepare Kana by keeping her mind active. “Preparation wise, we just read lots of books to her, we go down to the public library at least once a week, read to her a lot,” says Rasmussem.

VanBlarcom says summer reading loss is a problem teachers see frequently, so having children read or reading to them is important. She even suggests having kids read road signs to add a fun twist.

Finally, VanBlarcom suggests making sure kids are ready for the school year socially as well.

"It’s important for kids getting prepared to be with other kids, and being sure that they're using their manners. ‘How am I going to get along with them?’ ‘What can I do as a kids to be kind to my peers, be respectful to my teachers, and be respectful to my environment?’ That's one thing that's really important and it's good to review that to be prepared for school," says VanBlarcom.

VanBlarcom says if you're part of Altoona School District and need help purchasing school supplies, the district will have donated supplies available, during their back to school day on September 2nd.

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