While summer is not over yet, the time to pack away the flip-flops and bring on the pencils and books is just around the corner. Switching from carefree summer days to fast-paced school schedule can be stressful for parents and kids, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparing for the first day ahead can make all the difference and we’ve got you covered with some great tips to ease into the school mode and start this year off right.
Transportation: Finalizing a transportation schedule with your family before the school year starts will make things much easier. Whether you are coordinating a carpool group or your child is taking the school bus, nailing down a pick-up and drop-off schedule ahead of time will eliminate stress.
Breakfast: Studies have shown that children who eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast often perform better throughout the day than those who don’t. Figure out which healthy breakfast foods your kids actually like and create a menu that will get their day off to a good start. Some easy options are steel cut oats with berries, green smoothies, or low fat Greek yogurt with granola and fruit.
Homework habits: Developing efficient homework and study habits early on in the school year will set the groundwork for not only a successful academic year, but for a successful student. Create an organized and quiet environment that encourages your child to focus and complete tasks in an efficient, timely manner. Homework zones that are relaxing, but formal are known to keep kids’ attention best. If possible, set up the homework station in a room with lots of natural light. Make sure that all electronic devices are put away or turned off during homework time to maximize concentration. Subtler distractions like hunger or worry can similarly affect your child’s ability to focus. Ensure that these needs are met as well to establish a distraction-free zone.
Night time routine: Getting a good night’s sleep is especially important for growing children and adolescents. Setting up a night routine and sleep schedule will help your student in and out of the classroom as their mood will be brighter and their concentration levels higher. Your child’s night time routine might consist of taking a calming hot shower, reading a book, or spraying a little bit of lavender mist on their pillow. Also, turning off all electronics, or at least putting them away in a separate room an hour before bedtime will help you and your kids unwind before it’s time to sleep.
After School care/ extracurriculars: Getting your child involved in an after school activity is a great opportunity for them to explore new interests and socialize outside of the classroom. Sometimes schools provide after school activities or clubs, but if not, you can search your local area for extracurriculars for kids. Some of the most popular are dance, art, music, sports or acting classes.