Getting children ready for the end of summer vacation and the start of the school year is something all parents look forward to yet dread at the same time. After a whole summertime of independence, most kids are no longer in “school” mode, i.e., able to focus on homework, going to sleep and getting up early, ect. Fortunately, there are many ideas and activities that can help parents make the transition from the lazy days of summer to the more structured regiment of school less stressful and more enjoyable for parents and kids.
Here are some need-to-know back to school preparation tips for parents and kids:
Let your child take an active part in choosing their own school supplies/clothes. Splurging on a few, nonessential items while ensuring they have the necessary supplies will make any child feel better about going back to school.
If your child is attending a new school, or is worried about starting the new school year, take them to visit their teacher a day or two before school. This is a great method to help calm any nervous child by allowing them to get to know their teacher before the year even begins. Also, if your child is attending a new school this is a perfect time to help them familiarize themselves with the school by walking the layout and pointing out the location of their room, the cafeteria, gymnasium, restrooms, and so-on.
Get kids back on a school sleep schedule at least two weeks before the first day of school. This can be a tough activity to start, but if you ease your children into it the task becomes much easier. Start by setting times they need to go to bed, then continue to let them sleep in as late as they want for the first few days. Gradually have them wake up 15 minutes earlier each day, and by the time school starts their minds and bodies should be much more prepared for the onslaught of early mornings.
Take your child to your family physician for a check-up and your eye doctor for a vision examination. Treating any health or vision problems before school starts will greatly improve your child’s ability to succeed academically and may help prevent unnecessary absences.
Designate a quiet and relaxing study area in your home where they can do their homework without being distracted. It’s crucial to include your child in this decision, such as letting them pick out the desk, desk lamp, and other accessories to make them feel more invested in their own education.
Read through school conduct rules and regulations with your children. Make sure you make it very clear to them that there are legitimate and serious consequences for violating them.
Get as much done as possible before school starts.The more prepared you are for the school year, the less stressed you’ll be and, in turn, the less stressed your child will be. Make sure that you have carpool plans set up, ensure that your child has plenty of supplies and lunch money, if your child walks to school walk the path with them to prepare them for the upcoming routine, and make sure you have contingency plans if anything goes wrong. By being prepared, you have arguably the biggest positive impact you can on your child, and that will show in their motivation and grades in the long run.
Contributed by Cade Snowden, Marketing and Community Outreach Intern
Cade Snowden is a senior studying business Marketing and Finance at the University of Oklahoma. He is a resident of Allen, Texas, and a graduate of Allen High School. He enjoys writing about business tips, industry reports, and watching his favorite television show: Game of Thrones.