Eight tips for starting the new school year on the right foot
Even though it seems like summer just started, a new school year is right around the corner. After weeks of fun, relaxation, and the lack of a formal academic schedule, getting back into a school routine can be challenging. After the last year and a half, it’s even more important to prepare for going back to school and back to in-person learning.
We’ve got you covered, though, with eight tips to help your child start the new year on the right foot.
Tip 1: Start their new morning schedule now
School days mean earlier mornings and a strict schedule if everyone is to make it to school on time. Don’t wait until the morning of the first day to get back on schedule. Make sure your child starts going to bed and waking up like it’s a regular school day a couple of weeks in advance. Set an alarm for older kids so they can get up on their own.
It won’t hurt to go through your morning routine a few times with your family, either. Figure out how long it will take to get everyone dressed, fed, backpacks filled, and lunches made.
Tip 2: Change the bedtime routine
Summer is a time when routines go out the window, particularly at night. School means getting up earlier, which means your kids should go to bed earlier. Start getting back into your nighttime routine now. Sleep is just as important as food in ensuring your child is mentally and physically ready to tackle a new day.
Preschool (3-5 years) = 10-13 hours
School-aged (6-13 years) = 9-11 hours
Teens (14-17 years) = 8-10 hours
Be as strict as you can about bedtimes, even as your children get older. Teens tend to get less sleep than they need, thanks to after-school activities and homework.
Tip 3: Put out clothes the night before
The search for shoes or a clean shirt can throw the whole morning routine off and make everyone late. You can avoid this chaos by laying out school clothes the night before. Whether your child wears a uniform or not, you want to ensure they only need to get dressed. You can practice this routine a few times, too.
Tip 4: Pay attention to nutrition
Nutrition is essential for children and teens. Eating a balanced diet that includes healthy proteins, grains, fruits, and vegetables will keep your child full, provide energy to get through the day, and help him/her stay focused in class. Hunger is a distraction while foods with a lot of sugar can lead to a crash a couple of hours later.
Breakfast - Start the day with a healthy breakfast that incorporates all the food groups and cut out sugary cereals.
Lunch - Have lunch at the same time your child will eat during school hours. Check out their schedule so you know the approximate time.
Tip 5: Limit TV and electronics
Television, smartphones, and computer games can be a major distraction and keep your child from finishing homework. Prepare now for homework time by turning off the electronics during after-school hours.
Tip 6: Visit their school before the first day
It’s a good idea to take your child to tour their school, especially for younger children or those starting at a new location. Make sure your child knows how to get to his/her classes. Some schools schedule certain days where you can visit, meet your child’s teachers, and learn your way around. Maybe your child can even meet some classmates. This can help ease those first-day jitters.
Tip 7: Talk to your kids
Your children are likely nervous about going back to school, particularly if in-person learning was limited the last year and a half. Even your teenager could be feeling anxious. It’s important to talk to your children about their feelings and fears. This can help ease separation anxiety for younger kids and ensure older kids feel supported.
Tip 8: Easing separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is a real thing, especially for younger children. Children and teens who’ve been at home with you due to COVID may have gotten used to that environment and the thought of returning to school brings up a lot of anxiety and stress. It’s important to validate those feelings while staying calm, even if you’re feeling anxious, too. If you show fear, your children might sense it and become even more nervous.
You might also “practice separation.” Spend time apart, even if it’s letting your children play in their rooms without you hovering nearby. You might also leave your children with a family member or friend and go out on your own.
Prepare for a great first day
A positive mindset can make all the difference on the first and every day of school. Give your children words of encouragement and a chance to talk about their fears or excitement. You can help set the tone for a great year of learning and personal growth.
Lamad Academy is here to ensure your child grows academically and personally. Our vision is to build a school culture that drives success. We foster a positive learning environment that encourages inquiry and thought, along with a climate of passion and excitement among students and teachers. Ultimately, this can help improve academic performance and create a better school culture.