Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School in the North Shore-10 Tips for an Easy Transition!

Moving to Chicago’s North Shore is a great decision as you’ll enjoy a beautiful setting near Lake Michigan, vibrant communities, excellent school systems and a wide variety of things to do year round. If you’ve just relocated to the area this summer, I’d like to welcome you! You’ll find the North Shore lifestyle and community in which you live to be well worth the change!

It’s hard to believe that the summer is coming to a close and that the start of school is quickly approaching. As you settle into your home in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Highland Park or Northbrook, you may feel that it’s already beginning to feel like home. However, if you have children, they may have some mixed emotions about the idea of starting at a new school. While other children are eager to see friends and get back into the swing of the school year, transfer students can feel a little misplaced and unsure of what to expect.

As a North Shore Real Estate agent, I enjoy helping people not only find a North Shore home, but I also take the time to make sure they feel well-acclimated to their new environment. With schools starting next week, I thought these ten tips would be helpful in making sure your child’s transition goes as smoothly as possible. Take a look!

1. Make it a team effort- Visit the school with your child and take a tour to ensure they have an idea of where to go and what to expect. When it comes time to select specific classes, make sure your child is part of the process.

2. Keep a positive focus- As the first day draws near, begin talking to your child about their expectations, hopes and fears for the upcoming school year. Reassure them that other children are having the same feelings and present school as a place where they'll learn new things and make friends.

3. Encourage school involvement- Though you don't want your teenager to become over-committed, it's important to encourage participation in one or two activities that particularly interest them. They’re more likely to engage academically if they feel connected through a school activity, club or sport. Talk to them about his goals for the school year and how they might like to be involved in school outside of the classroom.

4. Get enough z's- If your child has enjoyed a vacation of late nights and lazy mornings, getting them up for school on the first day can be difficult. Help make this transition easier by starting their school-year sleep routine now.

5. Take a trial run- Take some time before the start of school to make sure you and your child know where to go and what to do on that first morning. Show your child where the bus stop is, or, if they walk to school, map out the safest route. You may even want to call the school in advance to find out about any special first-day procedures.

6. Stock up on supplies- On or before the first day of school, make sure you or your child finds out what school supplies and materials are required. Most schools should provide a handy list for the lower grades, but if not, take it upon yourself to ask and then purchase the items as soon as possible.

7. Prepare the night before- To avoid the morning rush, organize what you can the night before. Lay out clothes, make a lunch and assemble any supplies your child may need. Be sure to get everyone up extra early so you'll have plenty of time to calmly get ready and get out the door on time as to avoid adding to the first day nervousness.

8. Get a healthy start- Encourage your child to eat a good breakfast and pack a healthy snack to help them get through the day.

9. Accompany your little one- Even if your elementary school child will be riding the bus regularly or walking to school, you may want to take them yourself on the first day, particularly if they seem nervous.

10. Introduce yourselves- Young children are often shy with a new teacher. If you take your child to school on the first day, you might want to go into the classroom and introduce your child to the teacher. Let the teacher know about any special interests or challenges that your child has.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you and your child make the transition to life in the North Shore! Each school in Chicago’s North Shore provides the best care and quality education. There are also a wide variety of activities and ways to get involved, so your child will be sure to quickly get accustomed to their new school.

If you have further questions about living in the North Shore or you’re considering a move to one of the North Shore communities; please let me know! I would enjoy taking the time to answer your questions about the North Shore Real Estate market, show you homes that are currently available on the North Shore and can help guide you through each step of the home buying process. Feel free to contact me today to get started!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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