Getting Ready for School

Dr. Linda Hancock Home and Family The Eighth Year

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It's only a short time until the fall semester begins for you and your children. There are some things that you can do right now, however, that will help everyone to do well in the upcoming months ahead.


    1. Start talking about Success - Make sure that you are focusing on the positive. Even if the past year wasn't as wonderful as you had hoped it would be, it doesn't mean that this one won't be better. Say what you want and not what you don't want.
    2. Meet the teachers - Make sure that the school staff knows that you want to be involved in activities as well as in receiving information that will help you to deal with issues as they arise.
    3. Know what will be needed - Ask good questions about everything that will be required for the school year so that you can ensure you are ready.
    4. Take inventory - You likely already have a number of things that can be used this year. Plan a scavenger hunt when you can go through your home and office looking for pens, binders and other items on your list. You might be able to purchase some of the required books through second-hand sources if you know the edition that will be used.
    5. Watch for sales - Retailers are quite competitive and if you are wise you will find significant bargains. You don't need to purchase everything at once but if you have a list of what is needed, then you can take advantage of the lower prices when they are advertised.
    6. Mark everything clearly - It is easy to lose things, especially if you don't have names on them. Markers are helpful but you can also order pens and pencils that are engraved as well as iron-on labels for clothing.
    7. Consider extra-curricular activities - Everyone needs balance in their lives and it is important to find social and recreational activities that will enrich life. These do not have to be through the school itself. You might look for opportunities involving music, sports or clubs that focus on specific interests.
    8. Seek out mentors - There are always people who have made achievements who are willing to serve as encouragers or examples. Some might become tutors while others just offer the hope that things are possible because they have already done them.
    9. Start getting in a routine - The summer can destroy good habits such as getting enough sleep or eating on time. It is easier to start easing into better choices than to just throw everybody into drastic changes the night before classes start.
    10. Begin thinking about course content before school starts - When I was taking university classes, I used to briefly look at the textbooks before the semester started. That simple little choice got my mind started and put me miles ahead of the students who didn't even purchase books for the first two or three weeks. Younger students can benefit from checking out books of specific topics at the library.


Beginning a new school year o semester can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. If you are prepared, however, everything will be that much easier for those involved.

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email

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