The new school year can be a time of excitement and anxiety. Here are some tips to help your kids make the transition back to school a success.
Start evening routines earlier over a two-week period and roll back wake up times gradually to get kids used to the schedule. Get the family organized by setting up a homework station and arranging a dedicated calendar tool that everyone can use.
1. Get Organized
Getting organized can help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also a great way to feel productive.
Make an easy-to-read calendar and hang it in a visible spot. Write down assignments, meetings, and extracurricular activities. Encourage kids to use the calendar to track their own homework and events as well.
Organize a dedicated study space at home and consider other places to work like cafes or libraries. Creating a weekly meal plan can help with grocery shopping and reduce morning chaos. Make sure to set screen time limits and encourage physical activity.
2. Create a Back-to-School Routine
A back-to-school routine helps kids get a feel for the school year and eases their anxiety. Start by establishing a morning and evening routine well in advance of the first day of school.
Help children develop study habits that include a consistent time and location for homework, and encourage them to use a planner or calendar app to track their school and activities.
It’s also important to enforce a good sleep schedule to prepare for the return of the school day. Try to get your family back into a regular sleep and wake-up routine a few weeks before school starts.
3. Set Goals
Help kids get excited about the school year by encouraging them to set goals. Start by letting them explore their own interests by creating an interest map, then encourage them to create short-term and long-term goals. Make sure their goals are specific, measurable, realistic, and time-limited.
Remember that goals don’t have to be related to academic achievement, they can also include character traits like being kind to others or learning a new skill. Having the goals written somewhere they can see throughout the year will increase their accountability.
4. Create a Back-to-School Bucket List
The beginning of a school year can be an exciting time for educators. They get to meet new kids and inspire a new generation of artists, writers, builders and chemists.
However, it can also be a stressful time for families. Here are some tips to help make the transition back-to-school easier for everyone.
Provide a clear parent-teacher conference schedule and invite parents to choose their meeting times early. This will help reduce last-minute cancellations. Remind parents of their important role in student success, and encourage them to ask questions.
5. Schedule a Parent-Teacher Conference
Meeting your child’s new teacher is a good opportunity to discuss class expectations and set goals for the year. It’s also a great time to share any important information about your child, such as IEP concerns or special education updates.
Before buying school supplies, double-check your student’s official supply list. Consider asking for hand-me-downs from older siblings or reusing items like backpacks and binders from the previous year. Also, be sure to stock up on Kleenex tissues and Lysol wipes! They’re classroom staples that many teachers add to their back-to-school shopping lists.
6. Schedule a Back-to-School Tour
If students are starting in a new school or classroom, schedule a tour before classes begin. This will help them feel more confident and comfortable entering the new environment.
Consider creating a virtual tour of the classroom to share with families. Whether it’s using an old camera to take photos or creating a video, sharing classroom locations helps parents and students connect and fosters communication between home and school.
Additionally, if you have any volunteer opportunities, post those lists at your back-to-school event. This will encourage parents to engage in the classroom and support your students’ learning!
7. Make a Back-to-School Shopping List
Shopping for school supplies is an essential back-to-school task. Many retailers offer sales for this time of year and prices tend to be cheaper online.
Check your child’s teacher’s list to see what items are required for the upcoming school year. This can help avoid over-spending.
If you have multiple children, try to combine their lists where possible. This can save you time, money and eliminate unnecessary trips to crowded stores. Additionally, some states offer a back-to-school sales tax holiday that can save you even more.
8. Create a Back-to-School Schedule
Establishing a school routine is an essential part of getting kids back to the classroom. It’s important to have a system in place for what your kids need to do each morning and evening.
Make a routine chart for younger children, or have them write out a checklist they can use daily. Place this somewhere visible, like on their bedroom door or in the bathroom.
Start gradually shifting bedtimes and wake-up times to be more in line with the school schedule. This can help avoid the sleep cycle shock that can cause kids to melt down at school.
9. Set Screen Time Limits
Screen time can be a tricky issue, particularly for kids and teens who have been playing video games and socializing online all summer. Establishing new rules for the school year can help you avoid daily battles about devices and re-establish healthy family habits.
Be clear about rules, but be open to exceptions and adjustments based on need. For example, if a kid needs to work on a project, it may be okay to allow more time to do so. Just make sure they have other activities to keep them occupied too.
10. Encourage Healthy Eating
What children eat has a direct impact on their mood, energy levels and school performance. Ideally, kids should be eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner that includes grilled options, vegetables and fruits and plenty of water.
Parents can encourage healthy eating habits by modeling these behaviors and limiting unhealthy foods in the house. Children are also more likely to eat healthy meals and snacks when they’re involved in meal preparation. This can include shopping together and letting them help chop vegetables or make salads.