By Sharon Kasica

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School Liaison Officer

As summer days dwindle, your children may feel excited about starting a new school year, or they may have some back-to-school jitters.

Time for Some Preseason Training

Have your kids been staying up late and sleeping in all summer? Is breakfast neglect part of that late-sleeping routine? How is summer reading going? Changing summer habits overnight is tough and creates more stress for everyone. Try to get the whole family back on track a few weeks before school starts:

â¢Adjust everyone's sleep schedules to match what you'll need during the school week.

â¢Prepare nutritious breakfasts.

â¢Schedule a time for the whole family to read several days a week.

Check Your Equipment

Reduce back-to-school stress by starting early getting everything your kids need for the first day. Check with your kids' schools to see if they provide lists of required school supplies. Look at your budget and plan a few outings:

â¢Make a date with your children to go school supply shopping, then eat out or a go to a movie afterward as a reward for good behavior.

â¢Write a list of what clothes your kids will need this year after they try on last year's school clothes. With your children's input on styles, replace essential items now and plan to shop again later to spread out the costs.

â¢Designate a homework area for each child and stock it with supplies.

â¢Post important dates and times on a family calendar, including school bus schedules and back-to-school night. 

Know the Playing Field

Be sure to attend any orientations so that your children can meet their new teacher(s) before the first day of school. If your kids are going to a new school, arrange a tour if possible. Walking around the building and finding their classrooms may help ease their worries. If you can't visit the building, see if the school has a website and help your kids take a virtual tour.

Be a good coach

The best way to know if your children have any anxiety about starting a new school year is to ask them. Talk with them about specific concerns they may have. Share stories from your school days that will help them know their feelings are normal.

Read Together

Here is a list of some of my favorite Back to School Books! Visit the public library and spend time reading away those Back to School Jitters!

First Day Jitters - by Julie Danneberg  

This is a spectacular book with a very surprising ending. It teaches children that everyone (even adults) experience the same emotions. 

The Kissing Hand - by Audrey Penn 

I'm not sure who enjoys this book more...the child or the Mom! School is starting but Chester the Raccoon doesn't want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mama Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. (We ALL could use The Kissing Hand!) 

Wemberly Worried- by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worries about EVERYTHING....When it is time for school to start...Wemberly worries EVEN MORE! Awesome lesson for the worry-wart in us all! Kevin Henkes is one of my favorite authors! Anything by him would be an awesome addition to your child's library! 

The Teacher from the Black Lagoon- by Mike Thaler

This is an outrageously funny tale of how rumors and a wild imagination can make a student create a monster out of any teacher! Mike Thaler writes many other books just like this using The Principal, The Bus Driver, The Music Teacher and other people children meet in the school setting. This book and illustrations are entertaining to adults as well! 

Nobody's mother is in Second Grade- by Robin Pulver 

This is a cute story about a little girl and her mother, who has extremely fond memories of being in second grade and wishes she could go back and visit. Her daughter, not sure if it is cool to have mom at school, comes up with an idea to have her mother dress as a plant ~ because nobody's mother is in second grade. 

Some of the information in this article was provided by Military Onesource. Visit to learn more.

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Sharon Kasica is the School Liaison Officer for NS Mayport. If you have questions or concerns about an educational issue impacting your child, she can be reached via email at or by phone at (904) 270-6289 X1305 [office] or (904) 219-3894 [cell]. Or you can use this contact information to schedule a meeting with her in Building One