It is that time of year when kids get ready to head back to the classroom. No more sleeping in or days spent running around at the pool. For parents, it means getting back on schedule (and maybe a bit more sanity!) Helping get your kids back in the groove can not only help them capitalize on their first few weeks back but also mean a lot less headaches as a parent.
Here are a few tips we recommend:
1. Start the sleep schedule ASAP
Don’t wait until a night or two before school begins to get your kids back in their sleep routine. Going to bed early and trying to get them up close to the time they will need to for school should start a week or two in advance. This helps acclimate them into a better sleep cycle that mirrors what they will be experiencing for the next 9 months.
2. Be proactive with reading
Obtaining the reading list from teachers ahead of time can make all the difference to students in building their reading comprehension skills. If kids can read even part of these during the summer, it can help when they see the information or text again later in class.
We know that many consider it the most important meal of the day but it is often overlooked – especially on busy mornings. Take the time to get this into the routine before the rush of the back to school time. It doesn’t have to be complicated – include a protein, carbohydrate, calcium, and fruit for a well-rounded start to the day.
4. Get a “Launch Pad” in place
Before school begins, establish a place where everything for school the next day lives. This includes lunch, back pack, gym clothes, instruments, etc. Having this set place makes the mornings a lot less chaotic and establishes a good organizational mindset for students.
5. Start thinking about those test dates
It may seem early, but keeping in mind test dates can actually save a lot of stress down the road. Whether it is the ISEE, SSAT, SAT, ACT, or another test, these are important events and planning is required to maximize scores. Research which date works best for your child and plan accordingly.
6. Think safety
Make sure you go over safety with your child – regardless of age. This should help them feel comfortable as they head into a new school environment. Review household rules and also important considerations as your child gets older and encounters new situations.
7. Chat about social media rules
Going along with safety, it is important to discuss safety when it comes to social media as smart phones become available at younger and younger ages. Have a serious talk about sexting, cyberbullying, and avoiding online predators. Consider downloading an app that can monitor your child’s phone usage and set limits and times on when you think it is appropriate.