With just a few weeks left of summer, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your children to go back to school. To make the transition into the school year easier, we offer a few tips for parents and students.
Establish Bedtime and School Preparation Routines
Over the summer, many children get used to going to bed later than normal and then sleeping late. Help children start adjusting their sleep schedule about two weeks before the beginning of school. This gradual transition allows their bodies to acclimate to earlier bedtime and waking up routines before the first day of school. Dr. Keisha Shaheed, a physician at the Cook Children’s Sleep Center, explains that one critical way to help adjust your child’s sleep schedule is to turn off electronics after dinner. Screens can disrupt melatonin production and cause your child to take longer to fall asleep. Read more here.
Also, set morning and nighttime routines to help children get into the right mindset to start the year. Sit down with your child and write out their routines so they don’t forget the steps. For example, have children lay out clothes and pack their backpacks the night before. In the morning, have them eat a healthy breakfast before heading out the door.
Take Your Children Shopping for School Supplies
Before school begins, take your children shopping for school supplies to help get them excited for the year ahead. Let them pick out the colors or designs of items such as pencil cases, lunch boxes, or water bottles. This process will help your children feel part of the upcoming transition to school and may generate some excitement about it.
Also, if you pack school lunches, take your children to the grocery store with you. They can assist in selecting items to include and share foods they would enjoy eating. You could even let them pick out some sort of treat to pack in their lunch for the first day of school. Princess Pinky Girl has clever and easy ideas on how to make lunches extra fun and healthy such as cutting food into shapes or adding color in unexpected places. Your children will be excited to go to school and eat food they both enjoy and helped select.
Reconnect with School Friends
If your child hasn’t seen many of their school friends during the summer, now is the perfect time to plan some get-togethers. Seeing school friends will remind children how much fun they can have at school and may ease their worries about returning.
Additionally, if you know of a new student joining your child’s class, talk to his or her parents about introducing the children before school starts. This intro could help your child make a new friend and help a new student feel welcome at the same time.
As a final suggestion, enjoy your last few weeks of summer and soak up some fun in the sun! We hope these tips will help make the transition from summer break to the new school year easier and prepare your child for a fun year of learning!