Heading back to school or even starting school for the first time can be a hectic and stressful time for families! We have created this list to ease the transition for your family!
- Eating healthy:
Over the course of the summer, we sometimes indulge a little too much (especially in ice cream and other cold treats!) so getting back to a healthy regime is important. Healthy body, healthy mind, right? Sit down with your child at the end of summer to discuss school lunches and let them be involved in the selection process. Eating healthy meals as a family sets a great example for good eating habits. WebMD features some healthy school snacks that your kids will love. Why not follow the recipes with your little one and make them together? Or try out some new fruits and vegetables and expand your family’s repertoire of healthy foods! See what WE had to say in READER’s DIGEST about healthy brain inspiring snacks.
- Curriculum Confidence:
Homework is often a battleground between parents and children, but implementing a few tricks may help re-familiarize your child with this weekly, and sometimes daily, school requirement.
- Make it ACCESSIBLE: Most kids have homework troubles of one kind or another from time to time, whether it be as a result of a learning disability, absence or just plain misunderstanding. Hiring a tutor can help kids access important information they may have otherwise missed in class. At Beyond the Classroom, our experienced and qualified tutors offer personalized, in-home tutoring sessions that can help with your homework dilemma and even boost your child’s confidence! Check our website for more information.
- Make it CONSITENT: According to the Harvard Health Blog, students “should have a quiet, well-lit, pleasant place to do their homework” that can be easily supervised, but preferably not in the middle of family chaos! Avoiding distractions like TV is key and creating a consistent, positive homework environment can really help. Deciding on homework timing (right after school, before dinner, after dinner, etc.) is also very important.
- Make it FUN: Kids Goals.com has some great suggestions for keeping homework light and fun and Pragma Mamma’s Parenting and Education blog also features 5 great tips for making homework come alive in your house!
- Get back to sleep!
During the summer, we often let our children stay up later than usual, which is fine if they can sleep late in the morning, but this isn’t possible once school resumes. According to the Harvard Health Blog, “to avoid rude awakenings (so to speak), get your child started on his school sleep schedule at least a week before school starts”. Research shows us time and time again that children NEED their sleep, an average of 8-10 hours per night to be exact! Transitioning to an earlier bedtime and waking earlier takes some getting used to so give yourself plenty of time to get accustomed to the new routine. The Harvard Health Blog also reminds us that “screens (TV, phone, computer, tablet) emit a light that can ‘wake up the brain’ and make sleeping harder” so turn them off a good hour before bedtime. Sweet dreams!
- Managing extracurriculars AND downtime:
Variety in a student’s life is important and including extracurricular activities are a good way for kids to blow off steam, learn and develop new skills as well as pursue something they like. According to the Child Mind Institute, extracurriculars “can help kids develop talents and passions and learn how to push themselves”. We all know the benefits of being active, so signing up for a team sport or other physical activity (like a martial art or rock-climbing) can be a good idea, and it can be fun to learn to do something new like draw or play an instrument. But how much is too much? Overloading kids with too many activities and high expectations can lead to higher levels of stress according to Rachel Cortese, a former New York City schoolteacher and speech-language pathologist at the Child Mind Institute. Having a structured routine for after school activities is key in maintaining a positive experience and getting your child’s feedback is also important. According to the Harvard Health blog, ensuring that there is downtime every day is crucial too, as this is important for your child’s mental health. We all need a little unscheduled play now and then!
- Easing a child’s anxiety
As August comes to a close, many kids may start to get anxious about returning to the classroom or even starting school for the first time. PBS has some great tips for transitioning back into school including reconnecting with school friends your kids may have lost touch with over the summer and visiting the school playground to re-familiarize them with their educational environment. Have a son or daughter starting school for the first time? Parents online have some great ideas for getting your new student school-ready! They also have a wonderful piece on Overcoming Separation Anxiety on the First Day of School for first-time learners.
For more information about what the experts are saying on Mindfulness, Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise and Learning, visit the recordings of our 2016 webinars here: