Back to School Tips for Parents

Your family has had a fun, busy summer. Now that school is just a few weeks away, how can you best prepare your children for their school routine without cutting short their summer fun? 

Transitioning from summer vacation to school is not an easy process for most children. It’s important that students have a period of 10-14 days to readjust. To be effective, it must be a gradual process to undo their recent habit and to reset their internal clocks for the coming school year.

Parents must realize that after a long summer, most students need to reset their biological clocks. A lack of sleep can adversely affect performance, attention span, and physical health.  Parents need to make sure their children go to bed earlier each night.

The following steps can help you and your children prepare to go back to school and to excel in the upcoming school year.
1. Establish a Regular Bedtime Schedule. 
If your family does not maintain the habit of a normal sleep time year-round, then a few weeks before school resumes gradually break your children’s relaxed bedtimes. This will ease their body into the transition. Send your child to bed a half hour earlier each night until your child reaches the required regular bedtime.
There is a link between sleep deprivation and poor performance. Research has shown that Sixty percent of grade school and high school students with sleep disorders report tired at school and 15 percent of these actually fell asleep in class.
Keep in mind that each child’s sleep requirements are different, on average children between 5 years-old and 10 years-old need between 10 and 11 hours a sleep per night, versus pre-teens and teens, 10 to 17 years-old, who require 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night.
2. Develop a Bedtime Ritual.
Experts recommend keeping your child’s bedtime schedule and routine consistent and stress-free as possible. Requiring a regular time for bed can be less stressful when parents develop a plan to wind down the day. The routine could become a highlight of everyone’s day. Here a few examples to incorporate into your evening routine. 
  • Power off all electronic devices, computers, and phones one hour before turning in for the night.
  • Ensure homework, textbooks, materials, and necessary items are packed for school.
  • Turn down the lighting to prepare the brain and body for slowing down.
  • Play soothing music.
  • Provide a special doll, toy, stuffed animal, or blanket to sleep with, depending on the child’s age.
  • Lay out clothes, shoes, and everything to be worn the next day.
  • Take a bath or shower to ease the morning routine and to relax. If a bath or shower wake up your child, then delay until morning.
  • Put pajamas on. Wash face and brush teeth. Go to the restroom.
  • Alternate reading to each other. Your child selects a book or chapter for you both to read.
  • Incorporate fitness into bedtime. Together perform some relaxing yoga or Pilates poses.
  • Meditate or pray.
  • End the evening with wishing your child sweet dreams.
3. Create a Stimulating Environment and System for Studying.
Before school starts develop a studious environment, a homework routine, and study system to create a foundation for learning. What time will your child begin their homework each day? Have a plan to review the daily homework agenda together, discussing the assignment and requirements. Teach project and time management skills by creating a system to handle the growing work load as their school assignments increase.
4. Update their School Wardrobe.
Almost like clockwork children seem to outgrow their clothes each season. Normally the most exciting part of returning to school for kids is seeing their friends and wearing their new clothes.
5. Talk about Starting School.
Attending a new school or even a starting new grade can be stressful for a child. Ask if they have any questions. Addressing their curiosity and concerns can ease their mind.
Transitioning from summer vacation to school is not an easy process for most children. We hope these steps will help keep you and your child prepared and to excel in the upcoming school year.
Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know how you intend to keep your kids prepared for the coming school year.
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