It’s that time of year again! Whether you started this week or will begin your school year after Labor Day Weekend, we’ve asked our staffers to come up with a list of 10 tips to help parents and kids alike adjust to the start of the new school year. Below is our list, in no particular order.
10 Tips for Back to School:
Routine: Establishing an appropriate routine lets everyone know expectations. Decide if homework is to be completed before or after dinner or sports. Routine also includes bedtime, t.v. & technology/gaming time, and backyard playtime. Some of our staffers use a monthly calendar to map out schedules.
Establish Good Study Habits: Having a specific time for studying/homework each day helps students mentally prepare for that task. Just like they have certain classes or “specials” each day at school, homework should have it’s own time each day.
Facilitate Socialization: Elementary school kids can’t manage their own social calendars. Help them out by scheduling play-dates or meet-ups at the library or other favorite place. You will love the mini break you get and it’s a great time to get to know new Mom/Dad friends!
Parental Involvement: This was echoed by Omnibus personnel many times. The overall feeling: the more involved with your child’s school, the better. It provides opportunity to get to know teachers, administrators, and other parents in the environment your kids spend most of their day in. Most schools welcome younger siblings during these times, giving them a sense of belonging to their (future) school’s community.
Plenty of sleep: This is true for individuals of any age! Feeling cranky, inability to concentrate, and lack of patience can spell disaster during a school day. Inability to solve the usually easy assignments can bring on anxiety and frustration. And face it, none of us want cranky kids at home, much less at school!
Healthy, Hearty Breakfast: While there is much debate lately on whether or not breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, one thing is for sure: no one likes feeling “hangry”! You may be able to boost your child’s energy and concentration during morning lessons by providing at least a small meal to tide them over until they can refuel at lunch.
Visit museums, zoos and city art exhibits with your child: These family outings are perfect for some sneaky-learning! If possible, time your outing with school subjects. It’s so much fun to hear “I learned about this at school” and get a full summary of what was taught. Hopefully your kids won’t catch on until they are older!
Pack snacks/lunches with optimal nutritional content: Budgets vary, and this can often be a challenge. Our staff basically recommends that parents pack or help pack these items for as long as possible. While we are not dietitians, and won’t make specific recommendations, we can suggest consulting your family physician and visiting http://www.choosemyplate.gov.
Show your own enthusiasm for school: Positivity breeds more positivity. Showing your enthusiasm for education just might wear off!
Continue to encourage literacy at home: This was another repeated mantra by our staff, probably due to our extreme love of books and reading! Not only will reading at home help improve reading for completion of school work, but witnessing others at home setting this example makes kids feel a part of a larger community. Literacy opens more doors for a person’s future, so make the early years count!
Like what you see or have something to add to the list? Please comment below. Your suggestion might help another parent, child, or community!