Whether it’s your oldest child’s first day of school or you are a family with a sixth-year elementary student, the start of school is an annual transition to which Mountain Shadows teachers offer the following program appropriate tips.  

While most apply to the children, we’d like to remind parents that this is a transition for you as well. Be sure to leave plenty of time each morning to arrive on time and allow for those milestone photos on the first day!

Thank you to Primary teacher Koral Walters who shared a valuable Back to School piece (see bottom of page) written by the assistant head of school at Montessori in Redlands (Calif.).

Please remember that the younger the child, the more prone they are to react to your emotions. While the start of a school year is an exciting time, it can also be an emotional one and children will pick up on your cues.  While your drop off should be smooth, please be sure those hugs goodbye are big and brief and smiles large!


  • If you haven’t already done so, begin transitioning to an earlier sleep and wake up time (8-10 hours of sleep a night is best).
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Think school breakfast vs. summertime breakfast. Proteins and whole grains will help sustain energy for a day of work, not just the first day, but every day!
  • Please leave plenty of time to leave home, arrive at school, and say goodbye.Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 10.02.18 PM
  • Please be respectful of the drop off windows of time and start of classes, no matter where your children attend school
  • Pick up any remaining supplies from supply lists.
  • Get excited… your teachers and friends cannot wait to see you!


  • Read over the daily schedule and try to mimic a similar schedule at home (within 20-30 minutes).  This is primarily important for lunch, snack and nap.
  • Begin working with your child on dressing and undressing independently.  
  • Encourage your child to “try” to put on or take off his/her shoes, pull down his/her pants, take off/put on socks, etc.  
  • If you haven’t already, introduce a cup or small glass to your child for drinking. Any practice your child can do at home with this is beneficial.  You can also add a small pitcher for your child to pour his/her milk or water.  Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 10.07.04 PM
  • Your child can get used to opening and closing their lunch containers at home before their first day of lunch with the class. Opening their own containers and putting their lunch onto their plate is an exciting part of the children’s day. If you have a brand new reusable lunch pouch you might consider using it for your own lunch as many times as possible before school starts. The velcro on brand new pouches is very hard to open. The more you use these, the easier they are to open. 
  • If your child is used to being carried everywhere, practice walking by your side. This is very important for children who are in extended hours care. This is their time for growth and independence.
  • Have your child start wearing pull-ups or underwear at home,if they are still in diapers. Offer your child the opportunity to sit on the toilet, but respect your child if he/she says no.  
  • Start talking about your child’s new school community around the house. Mention all the new children, new and exciting work, and the new teachers.


Please see the all-school list.Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.25.38 AM


  • Have fun during your last days of summer! While trying squeeze as much into the final days, it is important for the children to be back home and settled a few days before the start of the year.
  • Brush up on math facts to get ready for new lessons.
  • Continue nightly reading practice.
  • Go to a museum or on a trip. Remember if the children are excited about learning something or continuing a study on something that excited them this summer, they can continue their research throughout the school year!
  • Save memorabilia from any summer trips for your child to share.
  • The first day of school focuses on important classroom structure and a lot of important rules.
  • Ensure that they are well rested and have their supplies.
  • Please make sure that children have their homework packets complete.
  • Come with a great attitude and ready to learn!
Back2School Transition Tips

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