Creative Child

Back to School Basics

by Jennifer McLaughlin on Aug 16th, 2016

Preparing to go back to school is stressful on both parents and children, but it doesn’t have to be! Use these tips to help your child have a great year at school!

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Start retooling your summer time routine at least a week in advance.

Make sure your child has enough sleep, especially in the days leading up to the first day of school. Gradually set bedtimes and wake up calls a little earlier each day. If your child is tired, concentrating in class is more difficult and mood swings and tantrums will be more likely. Here are more tips for retooling summertime sleep routines.

Eat a good breakfast. 

Getting a balanced and filling meal is an important first step to having a good school day. A hearty, healthy breakfast will hold them over until lunchtime, especially if your child is not used to having scheduled eating routine.

Get into the “back to school” mindset.

Talk to your child about what activities or projects they will do at school this week, and ask questions about their favorite (or least favorite) class. Encourage your child to join a sport or an organization like Student Council or Math Club. Getting your kids excited about school will give them something to look forward to daily! If your child has anxiety about beginning or returning to school, try these tips to ease first day jitters.

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Stay on Track.

Once you nail down your back to school routines and rituals, try to be consistent. Kids can handle any stressful situation, like the first week of middle school or midterm exams, if they know what to expect. Whether you use a whiteboard at the front door or a traditional calendar, post all big game days and after school activities to it. Check out some ideas for cool charts here. And don’t forget to add in family engagements and talk to your kids about changes to the schedule in advance when possible.

Get involved!

Join the PTA/PTO, attend school functions and get to know the parents of your child’s friends. Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers – not only for academics but also for how your child is doing emotionally and socially. Open lines of communication with your child are key, so think about implementing an after school routine to find out how each day went. You can start a journal system if your child is old enough to write to you.

Jennifer is a former special education teacher and mentor. She obtained her bachelor's degree at Kent State University in Ohio. She enjoys dancing, reading and spending time training her dog, BrunoMars. 

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