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Back to School: Six Ways to Get Your Child Ready

Help your kids get ready to hit the books and begin a new school year by following six simple tips.

By Jessica Mozo on August 8, 2014

Parents can help children smoothly transition back into their school routines by following a few easy steps.
Jeff Adkins

Back-to-school season is upon us, much to the delight of parents (and the chagrin of some students) across the country. Preparing for the new school year is about more than just buying new school supplies, uniforms and shoes. Read on for more ways to help your child transition smoothly from summer break to the classroom.

Study the school calendar, and save important dates on your personal planner:

There’s a lot that goes on throughout the year, from school holidays and teacher planning days to parent meetings and student events. Take 30 minutes to transfer important dates to your own planner, so you don’t miss a thing. Be sure to bookmark the online calendar and check back throughout the year to stay informed of any changes.

Update your contact information at your child’s school:

If you have moved, changed your phone number or gotten a new email address in the past year, don’t forget to let the school know. The best way to be in-the-know about school happenings is to make sure they know how to reach you. It can also be helpful to follow your school district on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a handy tool for getting in on the latest good news, fun photos, important announcements and conversations about your school district.

Start re-establishing a bedtime and wakeup routine:

Summers often result in children’s sleep schedules becoming all out of whack. At least one week before school starts, reinstate the bedtime expectations you held the previous school year. Keep in mind most students need eight to 10 hours of sleep every night to perform their best. Collect your child’s electronic devices and/or cellphone at bedtime, and charge them in your own bedroom to eliminate distractions from sleep.

Set up a homework schedule and work area for each child:

Whether you prefer that your child completes his or her homework immediately after school or if you let it wait until after dinner, communicate your expectations with each child. Designate a specific homework area and keep it stocked with pencils, sharpeners, erasers and other supplies. Younger children may find it encouraging to have a reward system for completing homework, such as a sticker chart on the wall.

Meet your child’s teacher, and visit the new classroom:

Many schools offer open houses or meet-and-greets, so students (and parents) can meet their teachers and tour their new classrooms before school starts. Take advantage of the opportunity to introduce your child to the teacher, and let them see the space where they’ll be spending a lot of time in the near future. It will work wonders to ease the stress of going back to school.

Keep things positive:

Remind your child that everyone feels nervous about the first day of school. Talk to them about their concerns and emphasize the positive things about going back to school, such as seeing old friends, buying cool new supplies, and participating in activities or sports they enjoy. Tell them about your fondest school memories and favorite teachers from your own childhood.

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