Tuesday, September 1, 2009

10 Ways to Help You & Your Kids Get Back Into The Back To School Mindset

The new school year is quickly approaching, and may have started already for some of you lucky folks out there. The transition from summer to the start of the school year can be very difficult for families. The suggestions below may be useful for your household when getting ready for school.

I really encourage families to get creative in finding ways to raise money for your school. It’s not all about selling gift wrap door to door anymore. Engage your school community in fun and easy ways–taking advantage of corporate programs like Box Tops For Education, Labels for Education, and My Coke Rewards whenever possible.

Plan in advance
Reduce stress by planning ahead. Make sure that you have the list of school supplies your child needs and get it sorted and packed. If your child need to have an immunizations or physical prior to the start of school get it scheduled far in advance of the last minute rush.

Set a consistent bedtime
In the summer kids are used to playing until dark and waking up later the next morning. About two weeks before the start of school, bring your child’s bedtime back to a school year bedtime. Start slow just a five to ten minute adjustment a night should do it. This also means that you are waking them up earlier too. Making sure that by the time they are ready to start school the time they get up and go to sleep match the regular routine.

Get enough sleep

Making sure that students get enough sleep is really important. Sleep helps the brain to recharge and enough sleep helps children to be the strongest learners they can be. Not sure how much sleep your child needs? Well it varies from child to child but the suggested amount of sleep for a school age child usually is about 10-12 hours every night. When deciding on a bedtime, bear in mind what time your child has to get up and how long it takes them to get ready for school.

Be organized
The night before the big day there are many things you can get done so you’re not so rushed in the morning. Have you child pick an out an outfit so they are not looking for that one article of clothing that happens to be in the wash. Make sure that their backpack is packed and set it by the front door.

Eat breakfast

A study of kids who ate Breakfast showed that students who ate breakfasts before starting school had a general increase in math grades and reading scores, increased student attention, reduced nurse visits, and improved student behaviors (keepkidshealthy.com). About 40% of students nationwide do not eat breakfast. Help your child have the best start to their day of learning by feeding them breakfast. Even if you run out of time or cereal at home our district has a school breakfast program so they can get breakfast at school.

Remember, drinking plenty of water is also extremely important to keeping our bodies and minds working the best they can. Remind your child to drink water at home and in school.

Share stories
Whether your child is an older child, or a Kindergarten children, they get nervous about the first day of school. They face new teachers, new classmates, and new schoolwork. Reassure them, tell them a story about your time in school, and be positive.

Know the “go-to” people at school!
Reduce anxiety by making sure kids know their teachers’ names, classroom numbers, and who to go to in case they need help, including counselors and the school nurse. Make sure they know what bus they are taking and are familiar with some other students on their bus.

Be excited and enthusiastic about going back to school!!
Purchasing new school supplies or clothes is a good way to help kids become more enthusiastic about starting a new school year. Talk to kids about exciting aspects of returning to school, including seeing friends they haven’t seen all summer, and telling everyone about their summer vacation!!

Discuss and plan extracurricular activities to participate in.

Find out what the school has to offer this year, such as sports teams, clubs, and music and art activities. Look into community programs and activities as well. This will increase enthusiasm for a new school year, and help establish a routine.

Plan a “Back to school bash!”
Invite friends and family to a weekend barbeque, go bowling, to the beach, or head to Busch Gardens for a day! This would be a great opportunity to talk about all of the points mentioned above, and make the beginning of the school year a celebration of accomplishment and new beginnings!


  1. It seems that summers are getting smaller and smaller. When I was in school it seemed that our summer vacation lasted forever. I dont have one in school now but I sure remember the stress of being sure everything was in order and they are ready..honestly that is one thing i dont miss haha.

  2. When we did something well in school we got prizes! Even stars! It really encouraged us to get back in the spirit of going to school!


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