Parents and students of all agesGet some sleep. Have a predictable bedtime routine to help get your family on a school schedule. Children’s sleep needs vary by age. Check out guidelines noted at www.sleepfoundation.org.Eat a healthy breakfast to fuel your brain for learningShop for and prep healthy lunches in advance. Include your children in this prep. Even preschoolers can help select items to eat. This is a great opportunity to help teach children how to put together a meal with all the food groups included.Set time each day to review the seemingly never-ending paper and digital information coming your way and put key dates in your calendar to stay organized.Hold family meetings to get everyone on the same page regarding weekly activities, schedules and expectations.Keep the first two weeks of school simple. Build in time for children to have unstructured play time and time outdoors to help get the wiggles out.Plan to attend back-to-school / classroom open houses or meet & greets with teachers. All children, no matter their age, like to know a little about their teacher, classroom and expectations.Establish a relationship with your child’s teacher. Let him or her know you support them and wish to volunteer as you are able.Keep after-school activities to a manageable few. Children need some unstructured time to play.
Lower Years:Let children participate in planning for school to help them feel part of the process and reduce any school-related anxiety.Remember that it takes time to transition to a new teacher or school. Give your child time to transition. Expect some emotional bumps at first. Spend a few quiet minutes each day with your child to help them process and share their day.
Elementary Years:Pack lunch and backpacks the night before to help keep the morning routine simple.Begin teaching your child how to ‘backward calendar’. Have them use a calendar to schedule assignments and due dates and plan how much time is needed to complete them.Include some exercise and outdoor time in each day.
Middle Years:Create a no distraction work space where homework is done.Set rules for phone and social media usage. Schoolwork should be completed first.Create an afterschool schedule for study and activities.Sleep is important to help bodies and brains grow. Consider parking phones and electronics for the night in a location other than your teen’s room to help encourage good sleep habits.