It’s coming close to that time of the year again when students and parents brace themselves for their new back-to-school schedule. I know the first week of school can be intimidating, but I assure you that with some preparation, adjusting to your new schedule will go more smoothly. To help you establish order in your home, I’ve created a list of things you can do to get your child and yourself ready for the new school year:
Set a bed-time and wake-up time
During the summer, it was easy to give your child a later bedtime or let them wake up as late as they wanted. With school starting next week, it is a good idea to have your child go to bed early and wake up at the same time as they did when they were in school. Setting an alarm for students who are old enough is also a great way to get them into a routine.
Set a screen curfew
Many children and teenagers have gotten used to being on their phones and other electronic devices during the summer, so implementing a screen curfew at the start of the school year will discipline and help them develop better habits. Set a preferred screen time with your child, but also keep in mind that they might need to use their computer or laptop for school work.
Have a healthy routine in place
Going to bed and waking up early is important, but so is eating a balanced diet. It’s so easy to forget to eat while in school, so make sure your child is having a healthy breakfast as it’s the most important meal of the day. Also, remember to pack nutritious snacks and lunches in their bags, and remind them to stay hydrated. Preparing healthier meals for your child ensures that they’re in great physical and mental health, and this will surely elevate their learning in the classroom.
Staying consistent with reading is key in helping your child improve their vocabulary and reading comprehension. It also helps maintain their routine of daily schoolwork. If your child wasn’t reading during the summer, don’t beat yourself up. It’s never too late to have them start. To motivate them to read, check out one of my recent posts here.
Think about the activities your child did during the school year before COVID-19, and, when safe to do so, encourage them to pick up where they left off. If your family used to go on walks during the school year, continue to do so. Exercising has many benefits, especially for children. It promotes healthy growth and development, lowers the risk of some diseases, helps maintain a healthy weight, and improves cardiovascular health, balance, flexibility, coordination, and strength.
Do some back-to-school shopping
I don’t know about you, but for me, the best part of going back to school was shopping for new items I needed. It was refreshing to start the year with a new pencil case, backpack, notebooks, binders, pens, etc. It gave me a sense of confidence and motivation to tackle the new school year head-on, and I’m sure it will be just as exciting for your child as well.
Prepare the night before
The morning of the first day of school can be quite hectic, so make a ‘to-do’ list with your child the night before. Having your child do a simple task, like setting the table for breakfast, is one less thing for you to do in the morning when you need to get ready for the day as well. Other things you and your child can do in the evening are lay out the clothes they want to wear for the next day and set an alarm for tasks such as waking up, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, putting on their shoes, having breakfast, grabbing their backpack, etc.
Following some of these tips will guarantee a smoother transition as you and your child prepare for the new school year. I also recommend keeping a schedule or planner, since it will help you to be organized with appointments, your child’s extracurricular activities, and parent-teacher meetings. Remember, the first day back, especially during this “new normal”, might be difficult for not only you, but also your child. Therefore, maintain a positive attitude and assist them in their own preparations ahead of Day 1. They’ll thank you for it!