Ready For Back To School?

Almost all of us dread the end of summer. Kids are reluctant to get back into the routine of early mornings, structured days and the homework that school brings. And, not surprisingly, many parents are also reluctant to get back into that routine, too! Here are a few tips to help make the transition back to school a success. 

Scale back the bedtime hour.
Start scaling back the bedtime before school begins, and begin to mimic the impending wake up schedule. Sleep is an important factor in your child's school success. Children who get the recommended amount of sleep have higher grades.

Here are sleep guidelines recommended by

  • Ages 3-6 need 10.75-12 hours of sleep
  • Ages 7-12 need 9.25-10.5 hours of sleep
  • Ages 12-18 need 8.25-9.5 hours of sleep

Shop early for school supplies with your child.
Your child will gain a sense of ownership by picking his/her own supplies.

Create a homework basket.
This basket should contain all of the supplies that will be necessary to complete homework (lots of pencils and erasers, a ruler, scissors, paper, markers, etc.). These supplies should be used exclusively for homework to prevent dawdling/excuses when it comes time to get it done.

Find kid-friendly breakfast and lunch ideas.
Shop for easy, nutritious foods that pack a lot of protein into your child's diet. Protein enhances neural connections in the brain. Complex carbohydrates help sustain energy.

Get yourself organized.
Develop a filing system for all of the paperwork that comes home.

Review bus safety rules.
Your child's bus driver will surely appreciate this, and you can make sure your child rides safely.

Shop for a first day of school outfit.
If you can afford it, let your child start school in a fun, new outfit that will feel special. If not, try embellishing an old favorite to make it seem fresh. 

Develop morning strategies.
Pre-select an outfit together that's weather-appropriate. Make sure homework and supplies are in the backpack at night. Have lunches or snacks pre-packed. Post a picture chart with your child's morning duties in a prominent place, and have them check the tasks off as they are completed.

Meet the teacher.
Ask the teacher for an outline of the day's activities so you can prepare your child. Take a picture of your child with his/her teacher and post it on the fridge at home. Make sure your child knows his/her way around the school.

End of summer ritual.
It can be helpful to create a ritual with your kids that signals the end of summer. It might be creating a scrapbook of the summer's events, or going to an amusement park for one last hurrah.

Duplicate school rules.
Once school has started, ask your child what the rules are in his/her classroom. Try to mimic the language that's being used in the classroom at home to reinforce the lessons in both places. 

Best of luck to parents, kids and teachers alike - and here's to another productive school year!

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