By Breanna Callahan, Marketing Coordinator
Not to rush the summer, but it is more than halfway done already. Unbelievable! It seems like when August gets here it is time to start thinking about children going back to school. We thought it might be handy to have a few tips on how to help make the transition back to school be as easy as possible, including some things you should get done (if you haven’t already) so that you are all set!
First of all, make sure your child is physically prepared to return to school. A healthy mind and body will help set them up for success. This means they should have their annual physical as well as eye exam. During an annual physical, the provider will make sure their immunizations are up to date as well as check their growth and development. Rather than wait until there may be an issue, or a small issue grows into something more problematic, it’s a good idea to get things checked out once per year. We all know that there are many germs that go around schools, children can use all the help they can get to arm themselves with a healthy body to stay in tip-top shape.
Eye exams are recommended every one to two years beginning at age four or five (when they begin to attend school). Vision problems can go unnoticed but can really wreak havoc on a child’s ability to learn. If there are undiagnosed problems, they can result in headaches. Sometimes kids can’t see well but they don’t even realize it or don’t know how to verbalize what the issue is. This can lead to them not being able to see the materials being presented by their teacher, and thus not getting the most out of their lessons including not participating/paying attention adequately.
Getting enough rest, especially during the school year is very important. Kids’ minds are “going” constantly; they are busy socializing, learning, and of course their body is constantly going too, with school and sports. Understandably, during the summer, they may get out of a regular sleep pattern. It’s a good idea, one to two weeks prior to school beginning, to start getting kids back into their routine. That means setting up a regular bedtime and wake time.
The more regular and constant a routine is, the better children behave and the more relaxed they are, even if they do fight that routine once in a while. So besides just setting up your morning routine, set up your evening routine and expectations too. There are many aspects to a child’s routine that should be figured out, including:
- What will their morning routine be like? What time they will wake, where they will eat breakfast, and when they will leave.
- How they will get to and from school and school activities.
- What type of lunch they will be eating (from school or home).
- Expectations in regards to electronics usage (phone, video games, TV). Often during the summer the rules may be more relaxed. If you have different expectations during the school year, discuss those with your child ahead of time.
- Homework expectations. Where they will do their homework and when.
It can even be helpful to do a practice run, especially of your morning routine. That way you can make sure you have enough time to get ready and out the door. This is especially helpful if you have moved. It can be a challenge to figure out traffic patterns and bus times, especially if it’s your first time in a new home.
Kids usually like choices and are more apt to follow the rules if they can have a say in figuring out the rules, or in this case the routine. If you have a plan, and especially if you work out the plan with your child, they are more likely to feel comfortable and confident starting out the school year.
Lastly, but just as importantly, have a discussion with your child to talk about the new school year. See if they have any questions or concerns. Often children will internalize worries, possibly not even knowing about it, until they have a conversation about it. You can talk about what grade they will be in, who their teacher will be, and any changes there might be from last year.
Even though it is good to start planning now for the school year, there is plenty of summer left to enjoy. We hope you have a great rest of your summer and a great start to your school year!